The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday sentenced Mrs Damilola Adeyeri and her son, Alaba, to three years imprisonment for defrauding an American to the tune of $82,570.
Justice C.J. Aneke convicted the mother and son of the four counts bordering on “fraudulent trick, business email compromise” filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Mrs Adeyeri and her son had pleaded guilty to the four counts during their arraignment on Tuesday.
Prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Bilikisu Buhari, told the court that the mother and son conspired with one Kareem Russel, still at large, to defraud the Chief Executive Officer of American Cranes Manufacturing Company.
Buhari said they committed the offence in June 2017 and were arrested on September 6, 2019.
In the charges, the advance fee fraud section of EFCC says that Mrs Adeyeri and her son were said to have carried out the fraud by “dishonestly representing yourselves as the CEO of American Cranes Manufacturing Company and thereafter you sent an email from [email protected] with intent to gain advantage to yourselves.”
The EFCC through its counsel told the court that the convicts acted contrary to sections 27(1)(a) and 23(3) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and were liable to be punished under Section 22(1) of the same Act.
The offence was also said to have been contrary to sections 421 and 422 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38.
In his judgment on Tuesday, Justice Aneke said he would temper justice with mercy because the convicts pleaded guilty to the charges immediately rather than waste the time of the court.
He sentenced them to three years imprisonment on each of the three counts but said the sentences would run concurrently.
The judge said despite that the convicts immediately admitted guilt and showed remorse, he had the duty to punishment in accordance with the relevant laws to serve as a deterrent to others.
He said, “Consequently, I hereby sentence each of the convicts to three years on counts one, two, three and four. The sentences are to run concurrently.”