New Telegraph

Man bags 21 years for N33.6m fraud, faking suicide of businesswoman

An Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos has sentenced a self-acclaimed oil marketer, Adesanya Olufemi Paul, to 21 years in prison for defrauding a Texas-based Nigerian businesswoman, Mrs Oluwatoyin Akinwole, to the tune of N33.6 million and leaking her nude pictures on social media.

The convict had defrauded the businesswoman, leaked her nude pictures on social media and thereafter reported that she committed suicide by jumping from the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos in 2017.

Justice Mojisola Dada, while delivering judgement, convicted Paul on an amended three-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence.

 Justice Dada said: “I am satisfied that the prosecution has proven the criminal charges against the defendant beyond all reasonable doubts.

“I hereby sentence you, Adesanya Olufemi Paul, to 14 years imprisonment on count 1 and 2.

“I hereby also sentence you to seven years imprisonment on count three for the offence of stealing. This prison sentence shall run concurrently from the date of the defendant’s arraignment.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had arraigned Paul alongside his accomplice, one Awojobi Ganiu  (Islamic cleric), who is currently serving a two-year prison term for the same offence.

The Islamic cleric was earlier convicted following a plea bargain agreement after he had pleaded guilty to the amended charges against him.

The EFCC, according to its Prosecuting Counsel, S.O. Daji, said that the duo (now convicts) were initially arraigned on November 8, 2018 and the prosecution had called four witnesses to testify against them.

Daji said that Paul and Ganiu defrauded the complainant of N33.6 million on the claims of rendering special prayers and investing in a crude oil business.

The prosecution said that the offences contravened Section 1(1) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act and Sections 278 and 285 of criminal law of Lagos State.

Meanwhile, narrating her ordeal before the court, during the trial, the business woman said: “My father even suffered a stroke after seeing my nude pictures online. They deceived me into believing that I would get a 150% profit after a month of investment.

“They kept extorting money from me on the claims that the ports needed more money to perfect the transaction before releasing the oil. This made me borrow huge amounts from friends just to make the deal work.”

Narrating how she found out about the scam, the businesswoman told the court that one of Paul’s workers called her and informed her that the defendants never invested her money in any oil business but rather used it to buy houses and exotic cars.

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