Middle-Age Man Jailed For Posing As A Woman On The Internet, Soliciting Sex 

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Kemisola Oye 

JUSTICE Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe of a Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced a man, Ayomide Ojo, to one year imprisonment for fraudulently representing himself as a woman online and defrauding people by soliciting sex.

The judge found him guilty as charged and gave him an option of 100-hour community service in lieu of one-year imprisonment.

The court sentenced him after he pleaded guilty to one count charge of being in possession of a fraudulent document containing false pretence brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

His offence contravene the provision of Section 320 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The prosecution counsel, Mr. Fanen Anun, told the court that the defendant had, sometime in September 2023, falsely represented himself as a woman online and engaged in a dating scam. He added that the defendant benefited $500 from his victims.

While reviewing the facts of the case, Anun told the court that operatives of the EFCC received intelligence about a group engaged in cybercrime who were living lavishly without any reasonable means of livelihood. 

He said the EFCC operatives arrested the defendant alongside others who are being tried in other courts after they carried out a raid on their residence in Ikorodu. “We arrested the defendant who said he was new in the ‘yahoo-yahoo’ business.”

Anun said the EFCC retrieved a Samsung Galaxy S9 from Ojo and discovered he had two email addresses that he used to represent himself as a woman and defraud members of the public.

The prosecution said the EFCC found fraudulent documents in the email addresses which they printed out.

The counsel to the EFCC told the court that the defendant confessed to his offence in a statement he made in custody and also made an application for a plea bargain.

The defendant’s confessional statement and bundle of documents printed from the fraudulent Gmail accounts and the Samsung Galaxy S9 were tendered and were admitted as exhibits. 

Justice Abike-Fadipe however questioned Ojo on his offence and after she was satisfied that he understood the guilty plea he took the judge convicted him of possessing documents containing false pretence contrary to Section 320 of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State.

The defendant thereafter pleaded with the court for forgiveness. “I know I have offended (sic). And I will not go back. I am just pleading for forgiveness.”

The defendant’s counsel, Mr T. E. Beabo also prayed the court to temper justice with mercy. 

The judge thereafter sentenced the convict to one year in prison with an option of 100 hours of community service. 

Should the convict choose community service, the correctional services shall report his progress to the court. On any day he misses the hour of community service, he shall serve out the remainder of the time in a custodial centre,” the court held. 

The judge ordered that the Samsung Galaxy S9 which he used to commit the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

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