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Court jails man over N71m oil fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, has secured the conviction and sentencing of one Awojobi Ganiu to two years imprisonment for N71m oil fraud.

Ganiu, who paraded himself as an Islamic cleric, was dragged before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.

But the convict was arraigned alone. He was also arraigned alongside his co-defendant, Adesanya Olufemi Paul, on a four-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N71, 000,000.00 from the complainant, Oluwatoyin Akinwole.

The anti-graft spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

EFCC explained that Akinwole alleged that, sometime in 2017, the defendants who claimed to be into crude oil business, approached her to join them in the business.

It was also gathered that Akinwole alleged that she paid the defendants some amounts of money for the supply of crude oil.

She further alleged that the defendants neither repaid her nor supplied the crude oil.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Adesanya Olufemi and Awojobi Ganiu, sometime in 2017, at Lagos, within the Ikeja judicial Division, with intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the sum of N33, 617.000 (Thirty-Three Million, Six Hundred and Seventeen Thousand Naira) by false pretence, property of Mrs. Oluwatoyin Akinwole, on the representation that you are into crude oil business from which representation you knew was false.”

But the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, thereby setting the stage for their full trial.

In 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, Paul, it was learnt, testified for himself while the second defendant, Ganiu approached the Commission for a plea bargain through a letter dated March 11.

On this basis, the charge relating to the second defendant, Ganiu was amended.

However, EFCC affirmed that during yesterday’s proceedings, the second defendant, Ganiu pleaded guilty to the amended charge.

Based on his guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, Daji, reviewed the facts of the case wherein he told the court that the second defendant, before the conclusion of the plea bargain agreement, had used part of the proceeds of the crime to acquire a piece of land at Adenolu Family Land in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

In her judgment, Justice Dada convicted and sentenced the second defendant to two years imprisonment from the date of arraignment.

Justice Dada ordered that the property, which the convict acquired with the proceeds of crime be transferred to the nominal complainant, Akinwole.

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