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Man jailed 9 months for internet fraud

Ikeja High Court jails man for internet fraud

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja yesterday jailed Babatunde Rufai, also known as Richard Abben, to nine months in prison for internet fraud.

The convict, who is the owner and promoter of ‘Wear It All Boutique’ in Lekki, Lagos, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos zonal office, on March 5, 2020, on a three-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of $5,000 (about N2million).

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One of the counts reads: “That you, Babatunde Sodiq Rufai (aka Richard Abben), on or about the 12th day of December 2007 in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, used an email address richardabben@yahoo.com, wherein you represented yourself as an American citizen carrying out contractual business in Africa and obtained the sum of $5,000 (Five Thousand US Dollars), property of an unsuspecting citizen of the United States of America, thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 278 (1),(2) and 285 (1), Laws of Lagos State, 2011.”

The defendant pleaded “guilty” to the charges preferred against him by the EFCC before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the special offences section of the court.

The prosecution counsel, Hamed Yerima, informed the court of a plea bargain agreement entered with the defence team, and urged the court to adopt same and sentence the defendant based on the terms of the agreement. Justice Taiwo adopted the terms of the plea bargain and convicted the defendant accordingly.

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Delivering the judgement, Justice Taiwo said: “I am mindful of this type of crime in our society, which is giving our country a bad image all over the world. However, in view of the plea bargain agreement, the defendant is hereby sentenced to nine months in prison, with an option of fine of N400,000 to be paid to the account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the office of the EFCC.”

The judge also ordered that the three exotic cars recovered from the convict be forfeited to the Federal Government.



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