Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, convicted 24-year-old Francis Stephen Oke Eghele for representing himself as a female American to defraud unsuspecting victims.
He was convicted alongside one Adeniyi Adekunle Aliyu from Iworoko, Ado Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State over a similar offence.
The duo of Francis and Adeniyi were arraigned on separate charges by the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Count 2 of the charge against Francis read: “That you, Stephen Oke Eghele (a.k.a Sugarmom) sometime in July 2022 or thereabout at Ilorin, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court attempted to commit an offence of cheating by personation by pretending and representing yourself to be a white woman called sugar mom who was in a romantic relationship with a white man, Oliver Pedrin as it is contained in your Instagram account: Sugarmomheater-0034 and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 95 of the Penal Code Laws of Northern Nigeria”
On the other hand, particulars of the charge against Adeniyi read: “That you, Adeniyi Adekunle Aliyu sometime in November 2022, in Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, did cheat by personation when you pretended to be a white female named Jessica Joanne with email address, email@example.com which you used to communicate with one Joe Maccreeary and induced him to send you the sum of $200 via Google Play Gift cards and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 321 of the Penal Code Law and Punishable under section 324 of the same Law”
Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said the duo pleaded guilty to their respective charges.
Following their guilty pleas, Anselm Ozioko (Jnr) and Isabel Adeniran who represented the EFCC, urged the courts to convict the defendants based on their pleas and the evidence tendered before it.
In her judgment, Justice Akinpelu sentenced Francis to six months imprisonment each on counts 1 and 2 with the option of a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) on each count. The court also ordered that one Infinix phone, which the convict used to perpetrate the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government.
In the same vein, Adeniyi was sentenced to six months imprisonment with the option of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira Only).
The court ordered that one Nokia phone, Hp laptop, Infinix phone used to commit the crime and the sum of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira Only), which he benefited from the unlawful activities be forfeited to the Federal Government.