By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) Ilorin Zonal Office has secured the conviction of one Joseph Oyediran, one of the suspects indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the United States of America.
Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, relying on the documents and evidence presented by the EFCC, on Thursday convicted and sentenced Oyediran to one year imprisonment.
The Commission had earlier arraigned the convict on five count charge to which he pleaded not guilty. However, the convict later approached the EFCC for a plea bargain agreement, which made the Prosecution to amend the charge. He then pleaded guilty to the one count amended charge.
Count one of the amended charge stated: “That you, Joseph Oyediran (alias Joe MG Graves) between April, 2015 and June 2015, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court did cheat by impersonation when you pretended to be one Joe MG a white Male with gmail account email@example.com, and fraudulently deceived one Andrea Smith, an American citizen to send #2,392, 105.00 (Two million, three hundred and ninety two thousand, one hundred and five) after you made her believe you were in love with her and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 321of the penal code and punishable under section 324of the same penal code.”
While reviewing the facts of the case, the Prosecution called the head of Advance Fee Fraud section of the Commission in Ilorin, Olamide Sadiq who gave account of investigations carried out by his team in the matter. Sadiq, a Principal Detective Superintendent said: “My Lord, on the 24th of July 2019, the Commission received a petition from the Federal Bureau of Investigations against the defendant, the FBI alleged that Oyediran was involved in business email compromise, romance scam and other fraud related offences, based on investigations, the suspect was arrested and confessed to the crime.”
Delivering Judgment, Justice Abdulgafar said the testimonies of the prosecution witness, the pleas of the defendant and documents presented were enough to conclude that the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“The Convict is hereby sentenced to one year imprisonment while his one plot of land located at Wara, behind Ilorin West Local Government Secretariat and the sum of eight hundred thousand naira recovered from him should be forfeited to the Federal Government”, the Judge said.