A Kwara State lecturer in the College of Health Technology, Offa, Mr Opashola Abdullahi was yesterday arraigned in Ilorin for alleged involvement in a romance scam.
The Ilorin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed a case against Abdullahi in the state’s High Court on a one-count charge that bothers on alleged romance scam.
Abdullahi was among the 32 internet fraud suspects arrested in Offa on 14 September 2020. His offence contravenes Section 95 of the Penal Code, and it’s punishable under Section 324 of the same law.
The charge read: “That you, Opashola Abdullahi (alias Devin Snow), sometime in the month of August 2020 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this court, did attempt to cheat by impersonation-by portraying yourself as a female named Devine Snow via your email address: email@example.com, to one Eugene Myvett in order to induce him to send you $200, a representation you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 95 of the Penal Code punishable under Section 324 of the same law.”
However, the lecturer pleaded guilty when the charge was read to him.
Following his plea, counsel to EFCC, Andrew Akoja, led Paul Kera, an operative of EFCC, in evidence to review the facts of the case.
Kera, in his evidence, narrated how the investigation on a petition received by the Commission on the activities of internet fraudsters operating in Offa area led to the arrest of the defendant.
“Our findings revealed that the defendant created an email address which he was using to defraud unsuspecting victims. During a search executed in his house, we recovered an Infinix phone which he used as an instrument of the crime. The defendant was taken to our office, where he volunteered his statement,” Kera told the court.
Documents, including copies of his statements, two computer attestation forms, an Infinix phone recovered from the defendant as well as the fraudulent messages printed out of his email account, were tendered and admitted in evidence.
Thereafter, Akoja urged the court to convict the defendant based on his plea and evidence placed before it.
The presiding judge, Justice Adenike Akinpelu, while discharging the witness from the witness box, fixed 23 February 2021, for judgement.
“The defendant is to remain EFCC custody pending judgment,” the judge added.