Cyberfraud: Islamic cleric jailed for defrauding US-based businesswoman

A Lagos State High Court, on Thursday, sentenced an Islamic cleric, Ganiu Awojobi, to two years imprisonment for defrauding a United States-based businesswoman, Oluwatoyin Akinwole, of N37.6m.

Awojobi, who was re-arraigned alongside a self-acclaimed oil marketer, Paul Adesanya, was sentenced after pleading guilty to amended charges of stealing and obtaining money by false pretences.

However, Adesanya pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged that the duo defrauded Akinwole, leaked her nude pictures on the social media and thereafter reported that she committed suicide by jumping into the lagoon on the Third Mainland Bridge in 2017.

Awojobi’s counsel, Goddy Osuyi, in his allocutus, stated that his client had pleaded with the complainant to accept a property he acquired from the proceeds of the fraud, adding that the convict had repented and was now sober.

Delivering her judgment, Justice Mojisola Dada, said, “I have listened to the allocutus of the 2nd defence counsel, Goddy Osuyi, and I have also considered the plea bargain agreement before the court. The 2nd defendant is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment as agreed in the plea bargain.

“The prison sentence should begin from the day of his remand by the court on November 8, 2018. This is the judgement of the court.”

Awojobi and Adesanya had defrauded the businesswoman of N71m on the pretext of rendering special prayers for her and investing in the crude oil business.

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