The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of one Tobilola Ibrahim Bakare and Alimi Seun Sikiru for fraud.
The convicts were ordered to forfeit assets, including the sums of N196,741,216.82 and N7,054,852.01 in bank accounts; two vehicles, a Mercedes Benz E500 and a Toyota Hilux 2020, and five-bedroom duplex situated at Ibrahim Eleto Street, Osopa London, Lekki, Lagos; four bedroom semi-detached duplex situated at Ologolo, Jakande, Lekki, Lagos, and another four bedroom semi-detached duplex in Southern View Estate, Mayor Court, Chevron Alternative road, Lekki, Lagos.
The two vehicles are valued at N30 million while the three duplexes are valued at N230 million.
The convicts were arrested after the EFCC, while investigating a case of suspicious transactions and money laundering involving one Kehinde Adelakun, a convicted internet fraudster, stumbled on evidence linking Alvine International Resources Ventures, owned by the second defendant, Sikiru.
According to the commission, the transaction that set off the alarm was an inflow of N5 million in two tranches from Alvine International Resources Ventures.
“Further probing by the investigators, revealed several inflows suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities in both the Sterling Bank and Polaris accounts of the second defendant. The balance in both accounts: N196, 741,216.82 in Sterling Bank and N7, 054,852.01 in Polaris Bank, were swiftly placed on a Post No Debit, to forestall dissipation of the funds pending the conclusion of investigation and determination of the case,” the anti-graft agency said.
“The second defendant, in his statement to the commission, admitted that majority of the funds found in his account were from the first defendant, Bakare, who confessed to being into Business Email Compromise, BEC, between 2009 and 2020 and also hacking into the accounts of KLM, Turkish Airlines and British Airways.”
They were subsequently arraigned before Oluwatoyin Taiwo, judge of a Lagos state high court, Ikeja on a five-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy and retaining stolen property, an offence contrary to sections 411 and 328 of the Criminal Law of Lagos state.
They pleaded ‘guilty’ to the charges preferred against them.
Delivering judgment, the judge said the action of the defendants was “responsible for giving Nigeria a bad image globally, whereby the average Nigerian is looked upon as being untrustworthy and fraudulent”.
She convicted and sentenced Bakare to three years’ imprisonment on counts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, with the option of N3 million fine.
The judge also convicted and sentenced Sikiru to three years’ imprisonment on counts 1 and 5 with an option of N1 million fine.
She ordered that all the property be forfeited to the federal government.