Mr. Adeyemi Israel Abiodun

Cybercrime: Convicted NANS Executive forfeits N16m Mercedes Benz, other crime proceeds to Federal Government

*Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says Adeyemi Israel Abiodun of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, in Ekiti State, and 39 other accused persons’ offences border on impersonation, obtaining money under false pretence, obtaining property by false pretence and forgery

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For committing cumulative N195million Internet fraud, the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discloses it has secured the conviction and sentencing of Mr. Adeyemi Israel Abiodun, a 200-level student of Economics and Development Studies at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), in Ekiti State, and current Director of Logistics of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), among the 40 accused persons.

Following this latest development, concerned Nigerians, especially parents and guardians, were said to have expressed reservations over the recent increasing rate of youth leaders’ involvement in crimes and criminal activities in the country.

Some also wondered that this is contrary to the superfine ideals of yores for which several student leaders and scores of notable Executives of the students’ national body were known, when student activism and active participation in Nigeria’s development dominated national discourses in the good old days.

ConsumerConnect learnt the Nigerian anti-graft Commission prosecuted and got conviction for Abiodun, a student of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti Chapter of NAN, to a year imprisonment for Internet-related fraud.

The convicted NAN Executive is among 40 suspects convicted on separate one count charge before four judges of the Oyo State High Court, in Ibadan, the state capital.

The convicts’ criminal offences

The accused persons’ 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, and Oluwole Oluwasegun Ayomide.

Among others are Adedotun Omodele Yusuf, 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, 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.

Others also include Mimiola Victor Olamide, Adeeko Kolade Emmanuel, Egberongbe Adedayo Quam, Oyelaran Olayiwola Jeremaih, 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, NAN Director of Logistics, was arraigned before Justice Iyabo Yerima, whereas 39 others were prosecuted before Justices Bayo Taiwo, Akintola Ladiran and Olusola Adetujoye August 15 – 23, 2022, according to report.

The one count against Abiodun reads: “That you, Adeyemi Israel Abiodun and Odaise Precious Abiola (aka Prezzy) (at large) on or about 30th 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.”

All accused persons pleaded guilty

During the trial, Abiodun and the 39 other accused persons pleaded “guilty” to the charges filed against them by the EFCC.

In view of their guilty pleas, the prosecution counsel, Modupe Akinkoye, Oyelakin Oyediran, Oluwatoyin Owodunni, Chidi Okoli, Abdulrasheed Suleiman, Mabas Mabur and Samsuddeen Bashir reviewed the facts of the cases, tendered confessional statements and documents recovered from the convicts as exhibits, and urged the courts to convict and sentence the defendants as charged, report stated.

Consequently, Abiodun, Daniel and Ayomide were convicted and sentenced to a year imprisonment each without the “option of fine”.

However, Akinniyi bagged three months’ jailed term and six months community service.

Other defendants were convicted and sentenced to six months community service each.

Abiodun’s restitution, forfeiture of proceeds of crime to Nigerian Government

The court also ordered Abiodun to pay the sum of $1,000 in restitution and forfeit a white Mercedes Benz CLA-250 with customised NANS plate number worth N16 million, a gold neck chain and one ice neck chain worth N3.6 million, Bitcoin worth $58, 854.88USD, one Apple MacBook Pro 2020 Model and an iPhone 12 Pro Max to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Other convicts were ordered to restitute their victims, and forfeit all items recovered from them to the country’s authorities.

It is recalled that operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of EFCC March, 30, 2022, had arrested Abiodun, a 200-level student of Economics and Development Studies of FUOYE, alongside 79 others in a sting operation in Sango area of Ibadan, alleged Internet fraud.

Investigations had revealed that between July 2021 and March 2022, Abiodun had benefited  N195, 274, 331 as cumulative heist from cyber-fraud, involving forgery of over 25 US banks cheques.

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