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The Special Offences Court in Lagos has sentenced an Islamic cleric, Awojobi Ganiu, to two years imprisonment after convicting him of a N71 million oil fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, on Thursday, said Mr Ganiu was arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada.

He was first arraigned on December 11, 2018, on a four-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence.

The anti-graft agency said his arrests followed a petition by Oluwatoyin Akinwole that he paid some money to the convict who claimed to be into crude oil business and had approached him and his accomplice to join them in the business.

Ms Akinwole further said he neither repaid her nor supplied the crude oil.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Adesanya Olufemi and Awojobi Ganiu, sometime in 2017, at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the sum of N33, 617.000 (Thirty-Three Million, Six Hundred and Seventeen Thousand Naira) by false pretence, property of Mrs Oluwatoyin Akinwole, on the representation that you are into crude oil business from which representation you knew was false.”

Court Session

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, thereby setting the stage for their full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Samuel Daji, called five witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

Read also: Court sentences man to 168 hours community service for assaulting electricity officials

The EFCC said the first defendant, Mr Adesanya, testified for himself, while the second defendant, Mr Ganiu, approached the Commission for a plea bargain through a letter dated March 11.

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Consequently, the charge relating to the second defendant, Mr Ganiu, was amended.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, Mr Ganiu pleaded guilty to the amended charge.

In view of his guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, Mr Daji, reviewed the facts of the case, wherein he told the court that the second defendant, before the conclusion of the plea bargain agreement, had used part of the proceeds of the crime to acquire a piece of land at Adenolu Family Land in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

Delivering her judgment, Justice Dada convicted and sentenced Mr Ganiu to two years imprisonment from the date of arraignment.

Justice Dada also ordered that the property, which the convict acquired with the proceeds of crime be transferred to the nominal complainant, Mrs Akinwole.

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