THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned a member of the National Youth Service Corps, Sam Abiola, and one Adebiyi Sodiq, for their alleged involvement in a romance scam.
While the corps member allegedly committed the offence around September 2019, Sodiq was apprehended after he reportedly pretended to be a woman and defrauded an unsuspecting person in August 2020.
The two suspects, according to a statement by the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, were arraigned separately before Justice Adenike Akinpelu at the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin.
Abiola, who is currently serving in Kogi State, was arraigned on one count, while four counts were preferred against Sodiq.
They both pleaded guilty to the charge.
The charge against Abiola read, “That you, Sam Abiola (Missie Bonie), sometime between July 2019 and September 2019, in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did cheat by impersonation when you pretended to be one Missie Bonie, a white female with Gmail account, firstname.lastname@example.org.
and fraudulently deceived one Rick to send $550 to you through gift card after you made him believe you were in love with him, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 321 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 324 of the same Penal Code.”
For Sodiq, count three of the charges read, “That you, Adebiyi Sodiq (alias: Maria Monica), sometime in August 2020, in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did cheat by impersonation via your email address; email@example.com
, to one Manny, by portraying yourself as a white female, named Maria, and induced him to send you his Cash App, a representation you knew to be false, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 324 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the law.”
Upon Abiola’s guilty plea, the prosecuting counsel, O. B. Akinsola, invited to the witness box an operative of the EFCC, Ali Mohammed, to review the facts of the case.
Mohammed narrated how the defendant was arrested based on an anonymous petition received by the commission on the activities of fraudsters in the Offa area of Kwara State.
“Documents showing fraudulent messages printed out of the email of the defendant were tendered and admitted in evidence,” the statement read.
Also, the prosecution counsel for the EFCC in Sodiq’s case, Sesan Ola, called on Eze Uchenna, an operative of the agency, to review the facts of the case.
Uchenna also narrated the defendant’s involvement in the alleged offence and tendered documents which were admitted in evidence.
However, Justice Akinpelu, while discharging the witnesses, fixed February 11, 2021 for judgement.