A Federal High Court in Ibadan on Monday sentenced one Ademola Lawal to a total of 12 years in jail for impersonating personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) and N1.85 million fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Patricia Ajoku convicted and sentenced Lawal based on the evidence before her and the fact that the convict pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against him.
Ajoku, who noted that the court took awareness of the fact that the convict pleaded guilty, said:
“It is my belief that the convict is remorseful of his action now and has demonstrated that he is willing to change and contribute positively to society.
“Nevertheless, Lawal is sentenced to two years in prison for each of the six offences to serve as a deterrent to others.
“However, sentences shall run concurrently.
“In addition, Lawal shall pay the monies he fraudulently obtained from his victims which shall be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the judge said.
The defence counsel, Mr Musbau Olapade, had shortly before sentencing, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.
Olapade said that the convict was a first-time offender and had learned his lesson in a bitter way.
At the trial, counsel to the DSS, Mr T.A. Nurudeen, had told the court that the convict was arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on impersonation and threat.
Nurudeen said that the convict committed the crime between 2015 and 2019 before he was eventually apprehended.
According to the prosecutor, Lawal separately obtained N1.5 million from a director of FCMB, N200,000 from one Bako Danbata, and N150,000 from one Ibrahim Bunkutu.
Nurudeen said that the convict, who posed as personnel of the DSS, told his victims that he was in a position to help them out of their problems with the agency.
He also said that Lawal intimidated and threatened two foreigners legitimately working at Tincan Island port in Lagos State through the internet.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 1 (A) and (B) as well as 108 (2) of Advanced Fee Fraud and Cyber Crime Prohibition Act Cap, 2015.