Hope James

A leader of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Adeyemo Israel Abiodun, has been sentenced to one year in jail over N195m internet-related fraud.

Abiodun, who is the Director of Logistics of NANS, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State Chapter, was convicted by an Ibadan, Oyo State High Court, along with 39 other persons whose convictions and sentencing were secured by the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a press release by the EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the NANS’ leader and the 39 others were convicted on separate one-count charges before four judges in the Court.

Their offences bordered on impersonation, obtaining money under false pretence, obtaining property by false pretence and forgery contrary to Sections 419, 467, 484, 516 and 508 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

The other convicts are Yekeen Azeez Ishola, Okeniyi Sanuel Akiniyi, Theophilus Ademola Bukola, Salami Mohammed Adetayo, Pelumi Ajayi Temiloluwa, Lawal Abdullateef Olalekan, Okusanwo Mayowa Daniel, Oluwole Oluwasegun Ayomide and Adedotun Omodele Yusuf.

Also convicted are Monday Nnaemeka Samuel, Idowu Adeshina, Olowe Nifemi Ayomide, Adubu Olamiotan Sunday, Kehinde Olatunji Kehinde, Oguntuase Tope Francis, Elijah Isaac Wisdom, Ogbanaya Chukwu Chukwu, Adekola Adekunle and Odebode Temiloluwa Kehinde.

Joseph Odunayo Clement, Andrew Adekunle Masika, Usman Mubarak Damilare, Isiaka Olumide Hammed, Uawu Osita Henry, Kareem Afeez Alabi and Ogunyemi Ayobami Samuel, Mimiola Victor Olamide, Adeeko Kolade Emmanuel, Egberongbe Adedayo Quam, Oyelaran Olayiwola Jeremiah.

Hammed Rilwan Ishola, Adefowora Omotayo David, Adedeji Ibrahim Olamilekan, Emmanuel Timileyin Akinbowale, Michael Damola Olanrewaju, Ayanyemi Olaide Samuel, Boye Timilehin Emmanuel, Timileyin Ajibola Idowu and Azeez Tolulope Ayoade.

Abiodun was arraigned before Justice Iyabo Yerima while the 39 others were prosecuted before Justices Bayo Taiwo, Akintola Ladiran and Olusola Adetujoye between August 15, 2022 and August 23, 2022.

The one-count charge against Abiodun reads: “That you, Adeyemi Israel Abiodun and Odaise Precious Abiola (aka Prezzy) (at large) on or about 30 March, 2022, at Ibadan, within the Ibadan Judicial Division did conspire to forge various United States of America banks’ cheques and purport same to be genuine and thereby committed the offence of conspiracy to commit forgery, contrary to Section 516 and 467 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.”

Abiodun and the others pleaded guilty to the charges filed against them by the EFCC.

Subsequently, the prosecution counsel, Modupe Akinkoye, Oyelakin Oyediran, Oluwatoyin Owodunni, Chidi Okoli, Abdulrasheed Suleiman, Mabas Mabur and Samsuddeen Bashir, reviewed the facts of the cases.

They also tendered confessional statements and documents recovered from the convicts as exhibits and enjoined the courts to convict and sentence the defendants as charged.

Consequently, Abiodun, Daniel and Ayomide were convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment each without the “option of fine”, while Akiniyi bagged three months jailed term and six months community service.

The remaining 36 defendants were convicted and sentenced to six months community service each.

The court ordered the NANS’ leader to pay the sum of $1,000USD in restitution and forfeit a white Mercedes Benz CLA-250 with customized NANS plate number worth N16million.

He also forfeited a gold neck chain and one ice neck chain worth N3.6million, bitcoin worth $58, 854.88USD, one Apple MacBook Pro 2020 Model and an iPhone 12 Pro Max, all to the Federal Goverment.

Other convicts were ordered to restitute their victims and forfeit all items recovered from them.

It will be recalled that Abiodun, a 200-Level student of Economics and Development Studies of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, was arrested on 30 March, 30, 2022, alongside 79 others in a sting operation by the operatives of the Ibadan ZonaZonal Command of the EFCC at the Sango area of Ibadan, for alleged internet fraud.

Investigations revealed that, between July 2021 and March 2022, the NANS’ leader benefited N195, 274, 331.00 as cumulative heist from cyber-fraud involving forgery of over 25 US banks cheques.