Court sentences 100 level student to 18 months in prison for online dating scam

An Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos has sentenced a first year student of computer science, Emmanuel Victor, to 18 months imprisonment, for online dating scam.

Justice Rahman Oshodi convicted Victor on Thursday, March 7 after he pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of fraudulent document, proffered against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC counsel, Mr Abubakar Dambua, told the court that the commission received an intelligence report on September 15, 2023 about the fraudulent activities of the convict and others.

Dambuwa said a raid was carried out and Victor was arrested. He listed items recovered from him to include iPhone 13 deep blue colour, a Samsung phone and ATM card and managers cheque and fraudulent documents, among others.

After handing down the 18-month prison sentence, the judge gave an option of a four million naira fine. Oshodi said he did not believe that the convict committed the offence out of necessity. He, however, said he would reduce his sentence by 20 per cent.

He said the convict would forfeit all items recovered from him, including the phones, ATM card, the manager’s cheque, to the Federal Government.

The judge asked the convict how he did the scam and he told the court that he created a false account in the name of ‘Agent Fred Smith’ on Facebook.

The convict said: “I asked the unsuspecting victims to apply for the Social Economic Grant Programme and I asked them to pay for processing and delivery. I used $7,000 to resettle my family.

We used to stay in a plank house and l used the money to provide better accommodations and pay for my school fees. I am sorry for my fraudulent activities and I promise not to go back to crime if given another chance.”

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