Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin yesterday sentenced a self-styled Customs officer, Yakubu Azeez Afolayan, to 20 years imprisonment having found him guilty of offences bordering on impersonation and job scam.
The 34-year-old Yakubu from Share in Ifelodun local government area of Kwara State was arraigned on a four-count charge by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“That you, Yakubu Azeez Afolayan, between the months of November 2018 and January 2019 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this court, with the intent to defraud, obtained the gross sum of N267,000 (Two Hundred and Sixty-seven Thousand Naira) only from one Usman Janet Opeyemi through your UBA account number under the false pretence that you are capable of securing employment for her son with the Nigerian Customs Service; the representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act,” the charge sheet reads.
He pleaded not guilty to the counts thereby setting stage for full trial.
In the judgment yesterday, Justice Abdulgafar opined that from the totality of the evidence placed before the court, the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and linked the accused to the crime.
“It is very clear from the totality of the evidence of PW1 – PW4 that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts. It was the evidence of PW1 that the Nigerian Custom Service does not sell its recruitment forms to job applicants, but the defendant was collecting various sum of monies from his victims as application fees. All the evidence were not challenged or controverted by the defendant”, said the judge.
Consequently, Justice Abdulgafar said there was nothing the court could do than to follow the provisions of the law in sentencing the convict.
“I hereby sentence you, Yakubu Azeez Afolayan to seven years imprisonment on count one; seven years imprisonment on count two; three years imprisonment on count three and three years’ imprisonment on count four, to run concurrently,” the judge ruled.