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Fake customs officer bags 20-year imprisonment for job fraud

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A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Thursday, sentenced a 34-year-old man, Yakubu Afolayan, to 20 years’ imprisonment for impersonation and job scam.

Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar convicted Afolayan on the four counts profferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The convict, who hailed from Share, in the Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, was arraigned on March 14, 2019.

He paraded himself as a custom officer and fraudulently swindled several unsuspecting job seekers under the guise of helping them to secure employment into the Nigeria Customs Service, before the long arm of the law caught up with him.

The prosecution told the court that Afolayan, between November 2018 and January 2019 in Ilorin fraudulently obtained the sum of N267,000 only from one Usman Opeyemi.

The offence, according to the prosecution, is 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 law.

He pleaded not guilty to the counts.

During the trial, which lasted for over two years, the prosecution called four witnesses.

Documents tendered by the prosecution were admitted in evidence by the court.

In his judgment delivered on Thursday, Justice Abdulgafar said from the totality of evidence before the court, the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and linked the accused to the crime.

He said, “It was the evidence of PW1 that the Nigeria Customs Service does not sell its recruitment forms to job applicants, but the defendant was collecting various sums of money from his victims as application fees. All the evidence was not challenged or controverted by the defendant.

“Another aspect to be considered in this case is the statements made by the defendant while he was in the custody of the EFCC. The statements were made voluntarily and he (Afolayan) confessed to the crime.”

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