An Ikeja Special Offences Court has sentenced a man in his seventies, Olawale Ogun, to seven years in prison for defrauding two companies of a total of N75.5 million.
Delivering her judgment on Friday during hearing of the case on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada, described Ogun as a “callous, calculating and cunning old man who expended the funds on women.”
Dada convicted Ogun on six counts of stealing by fraudulent conversion, having averred that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) proved its case against the defendants beyond all reasonable doubt.
Ogun’s company, Storage Index Ltd., was convicted on three counts of fraudulent conversion.
She held that bank records proved that Ogun had only N900 in his bank account before perpetrating the fraud and that he spent the money on a lavish lifestyle and building houses.
According to the judge, advance fee fraud is not different from armed robbery.
“The latter occurs when the perpetrator uses a weapon but in the former, words, letters, telephones and the internet are the weapons.
“The first defendant (Ogun) is hereby convicted on all six counts as charged, while the second defendant (Storage Index Ltd.) is convicted on counts four, five and six of the charge.
“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment on the six counts; the sentence is to commence from February 28, 2019, when he was first remanded by this court.
“The verdict of this court on the second defendant is that it winds up and its assets sold and shared in line with Section 297(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2015,” she held.
Dada ordered that the defendants should make a full restitution of the total sum of N75.5 million to the complainants.
Following the judgment, Franklin Ufoma, lead prosecution counsel, expressed gratitude for the judgment.
The EFCC had charged Ogun on six counts of stealing by fraudulent conversion.
Mr Ogun’s company faced three counts of the same offence.
They committed the crimes from February 21 to 23, 2017, in Lagos.
“Ogun and his company, within this period, received N15.5 million from New Vision Agro and Merchandise Ltd., and N60 million from Fresh and Nourishing International Ltd.
“The companies gave the money to them for purchase of United States dollars but it was converted to their personal use,” Ms Ufoma had submitted.
According to the EFCC, the offences violate Sections 287(1)(b), (2)(f) and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.