IKEJA Special Offences Court in Lagos State has sentenced a man who parades himself as an Islamic cleric to two-years imprisonment after finding him guilty of stealing and obtaining N71m ($195,240) through false pretences.
Ganiu Awojobi, described as a fake cleric, was convicted after he was found guilty of defrauding Oluwatoyin Akinwole of the sum. Justice Mojisola Dada handed down the sentence after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Mr Awojobi alongside his co-defendant, Adesanya Olufemi Paul, on a four-count charge of stealing and obtaining money by false pretences.
Ms Akinwole alleged that, sometime in 2017, the defendants who claimed to be into crude oil business, approached her to join them in the business. She said that she paid the defendants some amounts of money for the supply of crude oil but they neither repaid her nor supplied the crude.
During the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Samuel Daji, called five witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court. The first defendant, Mr Paul, testified for himself, while the second defendant, Mr Awojobi, approached the EFCC for a plea bargain.
Consequently, the charge relating to the second defendant, Mr Awojobi, was amended and
yesterday, he pleaded guilty to the amended charge. In view of Awojobi’s guilty plea, Mr Daji told the court that he had used part of the proceeds of the crime to acquire a piece of land in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
Delivering her judgment, Justice Dada convicted and sentenced the second defendant to two years imprisonment from the date of arraignment. Justice Dada also ordered that the property, which the convict acquired with the proceeds of crime be transferred to the nominal complainant, Ms Akinwole.