Court jails fake EFCC operative one year for defrauding Belgian €45,000

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Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced one Ume Ifechukwu Clinton to one-year imprisonment.

Clinton had defrauded Axelle Mahieu, a Belgian educator and caregiver, of the sum of €45,000 in a well-orchestrated online fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made this known in a statement issued Thursday.

According to the EFCC, Clinton was arraigned on Feb. 22 this year on an amended 3-count charge bordering on impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Clinton approached the prosecution for a plea bargain.

However, after Clinton’s guilty plea, Bilikisu Buhari, counsel for the EFCC, called a witness, Damilare Adeosun, an investigative officer with the EFCC, who testified against the defendant and through whom different documents were tendered in evidence against him.

Led in evidence by Buhari, Adeosun, who took part in the investigation, explained how the EFCC had acted on an intelligence report from the Foundation for Investigative Journalism indicating that Clinton disguised as an EFCC officer to defraud Mahieu.

According to Adeosun, Mahieu was deceived into believing that Clinton was an official of the EFCC after he deceived her with an alleged EFCC ID card that she never knew was fake.

“The defendant presented himself to be a staff of EFCC and introduced her to non-existing cryptocurrency investment while assuring her that she is in safe hands,” Adeosun tells the court.

“During the course of his arrest, the fake ID card was recovered from him along with several expensive wristwatches and a bundle of cash totalling about N150,000.

“He admitted that he made the forged ID card in Owerri, for N3,000, to gain the trust of the victim.”

Adeosun added that the investigation confirmed that Clinton transferred money received from the Belgian through cryptocurrency to his own Binance account and exchanged the same through p2p, crediting the same in Naira to his bank accounts in Nigeria.

Consequently, Justice Dada declared Clinton guilty as charged.

Dada, however, sentenced him to one year in prison.

The judge further ordered the convict to restitute the €45,000 to Mahieu within three months.

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