Ganiu Awojobi, a fake Islamic cleric, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment over N71 million oil fraud
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, sentenced Ganiu on Wednesday.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Zonal office, had arraigned the fake cleric alongside one other co-defendant, Adesanya Olufemi Paul, on December 11, 2018, on a four-count charge of stealing and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N71 million from the complainant, Oluwatoyin Akinwole.
Akinwole alleged that sometime in 2017, the defendants, who claimed to be into crude oil business, approached her to join them in the business.
The plaintiff also alleged that she paid the defendants some amounts of money for the supply of crude oil, but they neither repaid her, nor supplied the product.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Adesanya Olufemi Paul 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.”
However, the defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charge preferred against them, which prompted a full trial.
Samuel Daji, the prosecution counsel, in the course of the trial, called five witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted as evidences by the court.
The first defendant, Paul, testified for himself, while the second defendant, Awojobi, approached the commission for a plea bargain through a letter dated March 11, 2019.
Consequently, the charge relating to the second defendant, Awojobi, was amended.
He later pleaded guilty to the amended charge at the resumed trial.
Putting Awojobi’s guilty plea in perspective, Daji, reviewed the facts of the case, telling 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.
Justice Dada in her judgment, convicted and sentenced the second defendant to two years imprisonment from the date of arraignment.
She ordered that the property, which the convict acquired with the proceeds of crime be transferred to the complainant, Akinwole.