The Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction and sentencing of an internet fraudster, Olaniyi Ogungbaiye, before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
The convict was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on receiving stolen property and fraudulently obtained property contrary to Section 328 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Upon his arraignment, Olaniyi pleaded not guilty to the offence, thereby leading to his trial.
During the trial, which commenced on June 8, 2020, the prosecution counsel, Franklin Ofoma, called three witnesses to prove the guilt of the defendant.
Led in evidence by Ofoma, the first prosecution witness, PW1, Ayotunde Awoyemi, a foreign national Investigator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, told the court that in October 2018, the FBI and EFCC carried out a joint operation code-named ‘operation wire wire’, following receipt of several petitions alleging the criminal activities of Olaniyi Ogungbaiye, Babatunde Oseifa and Lanre Moet.
He told the court that in the email addresses of Olaniyi and Moet, there were conversations wherein Olaniyi told Moet about some mystery shoppers’ scam he carried out in the past and how to set the same up and get victims.
In his further testimony, Awoyemi added that the convict defrauded unsuspecting victims of over Nine Million Naira.
In his testimony, the second prosecution witness, Ariyo Murtala, an operative with the EFCC, told the court that following the petition by the FBI on the activities of Olaniyi, his team commenced investigation and wrote letters of investigation to Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB and the response received showed that Olaniyi sent out over Four Hundred Million Naira to Freebony, a Bureau De Change, BDC operator, which prompted his arrest by the EFCC.
The prosecution also tendered documents to further prove its case.
Upon completion of trial, Justice Taiwo, on December 17, 2020, ruled that the prosecution proved the case beyond reasonable doubts and found Olaniyi guilty as charged.
The Judge sentenced him to five years imprisonment on the first count of the charge and three years on the second count.
The convict was also ordered to forfeit the sum of N9, 504, 904, 096 (Nine Million, Five Hundred and Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Four Naira, Six Kobo) and a Four Wing Duplex to the Federal Government of Nigeria.