An Ikeja High Court on Friday sentenced a fraudster, Adesanya Femi Paul to 21 years imprisonment over 419 charges and stealing from a US based business woman, Mrs Oluwatoyin Akinwole of N37.6 million.
It would be recalled that sometimes in 2018, Adesanya posted nude pictures of Mrs Akinwole on Facebook and other social media networks, and afterwards claimed that the business woman committed suicide on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos. It all started on Monday, June 11, 2018, the story and video went viral all over the social media.
Nigerians started sharing a story that someone, this time a woman, drove her car to Third mainland Bridge in Lagos, parked it by the bridge, or ordered the Uber driver to park, then stepped out of the car and took a jumped into the lagoon.
But the real story, from Dallas, was that of an alleged Texas-based Nigerian married woman whose nude photos with her boyfriend outside her marriage by name Femi went viral.
Mrs Akinwole later explained her story thus: “I am a business woman and I live in Texas, United States of America. Sherrifat lives in the USA and we were close friends when this issue started and she was the person who linked me to the Alfa(Ganiu) in Nigeria, but I wasn’t talking to the Alfa.
She then traveled to London, England in March 2017 to meet Otunba Adesanya, who she had an affair with and she called and said that the Alfa told her that my death was imminent, except I perform some prayers.
‘’While she was saying this, Otunba Adesanya, came in and told me that he knows the Alfa very well and that I should obey him because he is very powerful and well known in Nigeria. Otunba Adesanya, also told me that he had several businesses in Nigeria including petrol filling stations in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Alfa Awojobi, was demanding N154,000 for the prayers and I told Sherifat and Otunba that I didn’t have such money and Otunba Adesanya offered to pay N100,000 for me, while he asked me to pay the balance.’’
Continuing, she said:’’ I did what they said and Alfa started praying for me. He did that until April, 2018, and he insisted that I must come to Nigeria for the final prayers. I was really scared then and I didn’t want to die the way my younger sister died. I returned to Nigeria and went straight to Alfa at Ijebu-Ode. He asked me to take my bath before entering his house which I did and by midnight, he brought four men and they started praying for me. Alfa then said he had seen more visions about my husband and children and I ended up spending N1.5million at the Alfa’s place before returning to America. Otunba Adesanya, then came in and told me that he wanted to invest my money in oil business using his petrol filling stations. He took me round some filling stations in Ijebu-Ode and he was greeted as the owner. He asked me to invest a huge amount of money and promised that after one month, I will get back my 50 percent of my investment as profit, and I trusted him.
‘’ I borrowed N30 million and the person who loaned me the money paid it into his account. One month after I gave him the money, I called and started asking about the business; Otunba Adesanya, got angry and paid back the money into my account. I was shocked and this made me believe and trust Otunba Adesanya, to be a kind of genuine businessman. Then, I pleaded and asked him to continue with the business and then he asked me to change the money into dollar which I did and I took the money to him. Two months after then, when I tried to get back my money, he told me that the money I gave to him to invest into the business wasn’t enough and he needed money and I went on scouting for more money. I continued to give him money until it reached a total of N75million. He also asked me to pay the sum of N31million through the Alfa’s account.
‘’ But on December 2017, one of his boys called me on the telephone and told me that I had been defrauded, then I arrested him with some police and military men and they couldn’t recover my money. I also got him arrested with policemen in Osun and Ondo states, yet, he went off the hook. Then, I brought in operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, to arrest him, and they recovered 21,000 nude photos and videos of various Nigerian women. He claimed he was very sick and the EFCC granted him bail, but after his release he went on the internet and published photoshop nude photos of myself and him, claiming that he had sexual relationship with me, which was a lie. He was also the person who circulated the story that I had jumped into the Third Mainland Bridge Lagoon, over infidelity. The EFCC tried to caution him but he wouldn’t listen because he wanted to blackmail me into stopping my case. I was given the advice to go to the IGP IRT and report my case and they trailed and arrested the Alfa as well as Otunba Adesanya”.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos office, on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, arraigned Adesanya Olufemi Paul and Awojobi Ganiu before Justice Mojisola Dada on a four-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N33, 617.000 (Thirty Three Million, Six Hundred and Seventeen Thousand Naira) only.
Delivering judgement on Friday, the trial judge, Justice Dada of Ikeja Special Offences Court sentenced Adesanya to 21 years Imprisonment. He was convicted and sentenced on a three count charge bothering conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and stealing contrary to section 1(1) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act and s278 and 285 of criminal law of Lagos State.
While delivering her judgement Justice Dada stated “I am satisfy that the prosecution has proven his case beyond reasonable doubt of conspiracy. “I hereby sentence him to 14 years on count 1 and 2 from the date he was arraigned. This to run concurrently. On count three for stealing, the accused sentenced to 7 years in prison”, she stated.
After the judgement, prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, S.O Daji, thank the court for a well considered judgement.