The Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has secured the conviction of one Temitope Awobeku, who was arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, for an alleged N200million fraud.
His journey to jail began when the EFCC received a petition in December 2019 accusing Awobeku of defrauding a 96-year-old man, Prof. Joseph Edozien and several others victims from whom he fraudulently obtained about N200million.
He was arraigned on July 22, 2020 on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence contrary to Sections 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, and Section 287 of the same Law. He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, setting the stage for a full-blown trial.
In the course of the trial, the EFCC presented two witnesses and tendered four exhibits, while the defence called one witness.
Delivering judgment on February 3, 2021 Justice Taiwo found him guilty on count two, and sentenced him to two years imprisonment with an option of N200,000 as fine.
The trial judge however ordered the 96-year-old victim be restituted, “before the convict can enjoy the option of fine in lieu of imprisonment”.
In a related development, Justice Mojisola Dada of a Special Offences Court, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on February 4, 2021 convicted one Alphonsus Otega Obarakpo (alias Tega), for internet fraud and sentenced him to one year imprisonment, with an option of fine of N2million.
The Court further ordered the forfeiture to the Federal Government, items recovered from him, including an iPhone X, a laptop and a Toyota Camry Salon car.
Obarakpo was among the suspected internet fraudsters arrested on August 21, 2020 following a raid by operatives at Plot 11/12 Ayo Babatunde Crescent, Lekki, Lagos.