A Special Offences Court, sitting in the Ikeja area of Lagos, on Thursday convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment a fake Army General, Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun whose real name is Hassan Kareem Ayinde.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo convicted and sentenced the convict without any option of a fine.
He was convicted following a plea bargain at the proceedings where he admitted to using the name of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo (alias OBJ) to defraud a businessman Mr Bamidele Olusegun Safiriyu to the tune of N270m.
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In her judgment, Justice Taiwo ordered the convict to give N20 million to the complainant.
He is also to forfeit four vehicles recovered during a search of his home at 1A Joke Ayo Street, Alagbado, Lagos.
The judge also said that the defendant is to forfeit the building at No 1 Joke Ayo Street, Alagbado.
Among the property to be forfeited are a black Range Rover Sport HSA with Reg No YAB 289 BD, a black BMW 750 NNI with Chasis No WBAKC6C51A393501, a black Toyota Land Cruiser V6 ESR with Chasis No JINHU09JXV4086310 and a white Toyota Hilux with Reg No Lagos KTU 985 BT.
Also, the court ordered that the First Bank of Nigeria account of Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun containing N1,400 be closed.
Justice Taiwo said that the action of the convict shows the length scammers can go to defraud innocent victims, adding that he portrayed himself to be a General, he so perfected the scam by the level of his education that one wonders if such an individual should be allowed to walk scot-free.
“It is so sad that people have given our dear country a bad name. I intend to send a clear message to scammers,” the judge said.
The fake Army General was charged by the EFCC on a 13-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery of documents, and possession of documents containing false pretence values of N266,500,000.
He was arraigned on April 11, 2022, on offences contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006; Section 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006, respectively.
According to the charge: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, between 15th June 2020 and 31st December 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and whilst holding yourself out as a General in the Nigerian Army, obtained the sum of N111,400,000 from a company under the pretence that the sum represented part of the amount expended to “press and process” your incoming appointment by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as the CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF of the Nigerian Army, which pretence you knew to be false.”
The charge further reads: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, sometime in May 2020 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged LETTER OF APPOINTMENT AS CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF dated 20th May 2020 and purported the said document to have emanated from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which document you know to be false.”
He pleaded guilty to the charge.