Court Jails 100-Level University Student For Online Dating Scam

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has sentenced a 100-level university part-time student of computer science, Emmanuel Victor, to 18 months imprisonment for online dating scam.

After pleading guilty to the charge of possessing a fraudulent document, Victor was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment by Justice Rahman Oshodi, following the prosecution brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

However, Oshodi granted the convict the option to pay a fine of four million naira instead.

During the delivery of the judgment, Oshodi expressed skepticism regarding the convict’s claim of committing the offense out of necessity.

Nevertheless, he announced his decision to reduce the sentence by 20 percent.

Oshodi said the convict would forfeit all items recovered from him, including the phones, ATM card, the manager’s cheque, to the Federal Government.

Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr Abubakar Dambua, in his review of fact, told the court that the commission received an intelligence report on September 15, 2023 about the fraudulent activities of the convict and others.

Dambuwa said a raid was carried out and the convict was arrested.
He listed items recovered from him to include iPhone 13 deep blue colour, a Samsung phone and ATM card and managers cheque and fraudulent documents, among others.

Dambua, thereafter, sought to tender all items recovered from the convict as evidence before the court.

The defence counsel, Ms E. A. Ukpai, did not object to the admissibility of items recovered from the convict.

The judge asked the convict how he did the scam and he told the court that he created a false account in the name of ‘Agent Fred Smith’ on Facebook.

The convict said: “I asked the unsuspecting victims to apply for the Social Economic Grant Programme and I asked them to pay for processing and delivery.

” I used $7,000 to resettle my family.

“We used to stay in a plank house and l used the money to provide better accommodations and pay for my school fees.

“I am sorry for my fraudulent activities and I promise not to go back to crime if given another chance.

Ukpai, in her allocutus, said the convict had realised his mistake and had become remorseful.

She said the convict was a first time offender.

“We pray the court to temper justice with mercy and grant him a non custodial sentence because his mother is not well,” Ukpai said.

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