A Kwara state High Court, sitting in Ilorin, has sentenced one Jamiu Isiaka to 28 years at the Mandala Correctional Centre, Ilorin, for impersonating presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, to commit fraud against a South Korean national.

The Ilorin Zonal command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had on June 14, 2019, arraigned the defendant on four-count charges, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Delivering judgement on Thursday, however, Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar held that the prosecution had tendered enough evidence to convince the court that the defendant was guilty as charged.

The court found Mr Isiaka guilty of the charges and sentenced him to seven years in prison, on each count, to run concurrently.

The judge ordered the forfeiture of some properties recovered from the convict, which were proceeds of his unlawful activities.

The forfeited properties included a four-bedroom bungalow, located at Oke-Foma, Ilorin; a Toyota Corolla car; plasma television; home theatre; freezer; generator; washing machine; and an LG air conditioner, to the Federal Government.

In addition, the court also ordered restitution to the victim of the crime.

The prosecution had averred that Mr Isiaka had presented himself as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), late Maikanti Baru, to Keun Sig Kim, a South Korean, to defraud him of N30 million.

While parading himself as a senior government official, the convict deceived the foreign national to collect various sums of money under the pretence of securing, for his victim, NNPC approved marketing form and license certificate, to buy crude oil in Nigeria, the court heard.

In the course of interrogation, the defendant claimed that he used the money to conduct sacrifice for the petitioner.

According to him, part of the money was used to buy a vulture, elephant skin, elephant intestine, the skull of a lion and liver of a gorilla; all used as ingredients for the sacrifice.

In the course of the trial, counsel to the EFCC, O. B Akinsola, called two witnesses, including a police detective, Dare Folarin, who narrated how the defendant was arrested and several fraudulent funds traced to his bank accounts.

The prosecutor tendered evidence on how the defendant obtained the sum of $88,521 from his victim, under the guise of helping him to procure approval from the NNPC.

He said the offence was contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

(NAN)

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