Student convicted, Ogun socialite arraigned over N35m scam

Published February 23, 2021

Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe and Wale Oyewale

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , Ibadan Zonal Office , on Monday , arraigned one Mary Akerele before Justice Abiodun Akinyemi of the Ogun State High Court 4 , Abeokuta , on five counts bordering on stealing to the tune of N 35 ,520 ,000 .

The Head , Media and Publicity , EFCC , Wilson Uwujaren , indicated that trouble started for the 46 – year -old socialite , who resides in the Aseko area of Idiroko, Ogun State , when the commission received a petition alleging that she collected the said sum in instalments from one Alhaja Abike Oladoja to supply four truckloads of rice from a milling company in Bida , Niger State , but allegedly diverted the funds.
One of the charges read, “ That you , Mary Masirat Akerele ( trading under the name and style of Goodness of Jesus Global Ventures ) , on or about the 19 th day of September , 2018 at Abeokuta , within the Abeokuta Judicial Division of the honourable court , fraudulently converted to your own use the sum of N 11 m only, property of Fausia Abike Oladoja , thereby committed an offence of stealing contrary to Section 390 ( 9) of the Criminal Code, Cap . 30 , Laws of Ogun State , 2006 . ”

The defendant, however , pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to her.
Counsel for the defendant, H. A . Omikunle, made an oral application for his client’s bail . However, the counsel for the EFCC, Shamsuddeen Bashir, opposed the application on the grounds of the defendant’ s failure to keep to the terms of the administrative bail earlier granted her.
Justice Akinyemi adjourned the case till March 4 for the determination of the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Ibara Correctional Centre , Abeokuta.

In another development , the EFCC , Ibadan Zonal Office , on Monday , secured the conviction of one Oluwatoyin Henry before Justice Sherifat Adeyemi of the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan , on one count of obtaining by false pretences .
The charge read, “ That you , Oluwatoyin Henry, sometime in 2019 at Ogbomoso , within the jurisdiction of this court , with intent to defraud , obtained the sum $1 , 200 from one Betty Mosley when you falsely represented to him that you are a citizen of United States of America by name Amanda, who is in love with him , which representations you knew to be false , thereby committing an offence . ”

The convict , who claimed to be a student of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology , Ogbomoso , pleaded guilty to the amended charge after a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution.
Based on his plea , Henry was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison .
He was also ordered to make restitution in the sum of $ 1 ,200 to his victim and forfeit his iPhone 11 , Infinix Hot 5 and Nokia phones to the Federal Government of Nigeria .
Similarly , the commission on Monday arrested nine suspected internet fraudsters in Minna, Niger State .
According to the anti-graft agency , the suspects were arrested by operatives of the Advance Fee Fraud Section of the agency following credible intelligence on their alleged fraudulent activities .
It was gathered that laptops, phones and cars were recovered from the suspects .
Uwujaren said the suspects would be charged as soon as investigation was completed .

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