Lecturer pleads guilty of romance scam

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Opashola Abdullahi, lecturer, Kwara State College of Health Technology, guilty of romance scam

The Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned Opashola Abdullahi, a lecturer of the Kwara State College of Health Technology, Offa, on one count charge of romance scam.

The defendant was brought before Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin.

Mr Opashola was among the 32 internet fraud suspects arrested in Offa on September 14, 2020.

His offence, romance scam, contravenes Section 95 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 324 of the same Law, the EFCC said.

The charge reads “That you, Opashola Abdullahi, (alias Devin Snow), sometime in the month of August 2020 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did attempt to cheat by personation, by portraying yourself as a female named Devine Snow via your email address devinesnow677@gmail.com to one Eugene Myvett in order to induce him to send you $200 USD, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 95 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 324 of the same Law.”

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The embattled lecturer pleaded ‘guilty’ when the romance scam charge was read to him.

Following his plea, the counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, led Paul Kera, an operative of the EFCC, in evidence to review the facts of the case.

Mr Kera narrated how investigation on a petition received by the Commission on the activities of internet fraudsters operating in the Offa area of Kwara State led to the arrest of the defendant.

“Our findings revealed that the defendant created an email address which he was using to defraud unsuspecting victims. During a search executed in his house, we recovered an Infinix Nokia phone which he used as instrumentality of the crime. The defendant was taken to our Office, where he volunteered his statement,” Mr Kera told the court.

Documents, including copies of his statements, two computer attestation forms, an Infinix phone recovered from the defendant as well as the fraudulent romance scam messages printed out of his email account were tendered and admitted in evidence.

Thereafter, Mr Akoja urged the court to convict the defendant based on his plea and evidence placed before it.

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Justice Akinpelu, while discharging the witness from the witness box, fixed February 23 for judgment.

“The defendant is to remain in EFCC custody pending judgment”, the judge added

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