Thursday, October 3, 2019

Fake Islamic cleric Ganiu Awojobi gets comeuppance, jailed for N71m fraud (photo)

A man who parades himself  as an Islamic cleric got  his comeuppance on Wednesday when he was sentenced to two-year imprisonment over  a N71m oil fraud.

Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos handed down the judgement to the fake cleric identified as Ganiu Awojobi.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office  arraigned fake cleric alongside his co-defendant, Adesanya Olufemi Paul, on Tuesday, 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.

Akinwole also 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 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.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge 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, 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.

During yesterday’s proceedings, the second defendant, Awojobi, pleaded guilty to the amended charge.

In view of Awojobi’s  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.

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, Akinwole.