The Kwara State High Court has sentenced Jatto Sheriff Umar, a 21-year-old man who impersonated Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg to prison over offences bordering on impersonation and cybercrime.

Umar was said to have engaged in the act to defraud unsuspecting victims in an online scam.

The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission also arraigned five other persons over similar offences.

These are a fake US Military Officer, Oguntoyinbo Oluwatobi Damilola; Taiwo Akinyemi Kayode from Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Adebayo Adeola Mark from Osi in the Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State, Adedoyin Olayinka from Ilesha West Local Government Area of Osun State and one Yusuf Alameen Abiodun from Igbo-Owu Area of Kwara State.

While the case of four of the accused persons: Jatto, Damilola, Taiwo and Mark were prosecuted before Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar, Justice Adenike Akinpelu, both of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin heard the case of Olayinka and Abiodun.

The defendants pleaded guilty to their separate charges.

Innocent Mbachie represented the EFCC in the cases before Justice Abdulgafar, R. A. Alao represented the Commission in the cases before Justice Akinpelu.

The counsel urged the courts to consider the confessional statements and the guilty plea entered by the defendants as well as the evidence tendered against them in their conviction and sentencing. 

According to them, the evidence includes devices used to commit the crime. 

Justice Abdulgafar sentenced Jatto (Zuckerberg’s impostor) to six months imprisonment each on counts one and two, to run concurrently at Mandala Correctional Centre. 

The sentences are suspended, but the convict would be reporting to an official of the Correctional Centre. The court also ordered the forfeiture of his iPhone 12 pro, laptop and manager’s cheque as restitution to his victims.

Similarly, the judge gave Damilola a suspended sentence of six months imprisonment on counts one and two, to run concurrently while ordering the forfeiture of the phone used to perpetrate the crime to the Nigerian government.

Justice Abdulgafar also sentenced Taiwo to a suspended term of six months imprisonment. The court ordered that the convict’s Black Toyota Corolla car with registration number LRN237RA, Dell Laptop, and one iPhone 11 Pro should also be forfeited to the Nigerian government.

A similar sentence was imposed on Mark as the court sentenced him to a term of six months imprisonment, which shall be suspended while ordering the forfeiture of the phone used in committing the crime.

On the other hand, Justice Akinpelu sentenced Olayinka to six months imprisonment each on counts one and two, to run concurrently with an option of a fine of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) on each count.

The judge also sentenced Abiodun to six months imprisonment with an option of a fine of N200,000. The court ordered the forfeiture of a draft of N135,000 raised as restitution to the victim of the crime as well as iPhone XR used as an instrument of the crime.

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