Internet fraud suspect changes plea in $950 scam

A 21-year-old student of the University of Ilorin, Itanola Abdulsamad, on Tuesday stunned a Kwara State High Court when he changed his plea from ‘guilty’ to ‘not guilty’ in a case of $950 Internet scam.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had re-arraigned Abdulsamad and two others, Popoola Afolami and Olayeni Yemi, who were at large, on four counts bordering on Internet fraud.

Count two of the charge read, “That you, Itanola Abdulsamad, Popoola Afolami (at large) and Olayeni Yemi (at large) sometime between 2018 and 2019, at Ilorin, within the judicial division of the Kwara State High Court, fraudulently induced several unsuspecting foreigners vide the Internet to deliver to you digital currency from which you benefited $950.”

The offence, according to the prosecution, is contrary to Section 321 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 324 of the same code.

The case was first brought before the court last Tuesday, September 29, 2020, when Abdulsamad pleaded guilty to the four counts read to him in the court.

Justice Sikiru Oyinloye then fixed October 6, 2020 for the EFCC to review the facts of the case and for the court to sentence him.

However, at the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, counsel for the defendant, Adewale Olatunde, told the court that his client had informed him that he wanted to change his plea.

He prayed the court to allow the charge to be read to the defendant again.

Oyinloye granted the counsel’s prayer and when the four count charges were read, Abdulsamad pleaded “not guilty.”

Oyinloye adjourned the case till October 29, 2020, for prosecution to open its case against the accused.

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