An Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Wednesday, sentenced a student of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Oni Ololade, to eight months in prison for cyber fraud.
Ololade was sentenced during the virtual proceedings by Justice Mojisola Dada, following his guilty plea during his re-arraignment on a two-count charge of obtaining by false pretences and possession of fraudulent documents.
She also ordered that the convict, who had been remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre since March 8, should begin his sentence from the date of this remand.
“The defendant is sentenced to eight months imprisonment, starting from the date of his initial remand by this court, which was March 18.
“He is however granted an option of fine of N100,000 in place of his prison term. He shall also forfeit all the items recovered from him to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the judge said.
Earlier, Mr M. K. Hussein, the prosecutor for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that the convict was arrested on March 8, based on a tip-off.
According to him, Ololade was then taken to the commission’s Ikoyi, Lagos office, where he gave a statement admitting cybercrime.
“The defendant admitted to being an internet fraudster; he supplied the commission with his email address and his phone, which were accessed and several incriminating documents printed therefrom.
“It is on this basis that we are urging this honourable court to convict and sentence the defendant, and we also pray that all the items confiscated from him at the point of arrest be forfeited to the Federal Government,” Hussein said.
The EFCC prosecutor also alleged that the defendant had, sometime in 2019 in Lagos, fraudulently obtained Amazon gift cards from an American by impersonating an American Caucasian woman.
“On March 8, 2020, it was found in his possession a document where he falsely represented himself as another white female by name Sandra Blender,” the EFCC prosecutor said.
According to him, the offences contravene Sections 312(1) (a) and 318 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2011.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Augustine Okeh, in his allocutus (plea for mercy), had asked the court to temper justice with mercy.
“The defendant is the first son of his father; he is also a student of LASPOTECH; he is a first-time offender and I believe he has regretted his actions.
“He has suffered; he has cried and we are passionately pleading for mercy,” Okeh said.