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Lagos Court Hands Down One-Year Jail Term to Internet Fraudster Convicted of Romance Scam

Published by on April 7th, 2024.


Justice C.J. Aneke, presiding over the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has handed down a one-year prison sentence to Solomon Martins, who was found guilty of perpetrating a romance scam online.

He was arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a two-count charge, the anti-corruption agency said in a statement on Sunday, April 7, 2024.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Solomon Martins on or about the 1st day of December, 2022, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to gain advantage for yourself, fraudulently impersonated one ‘John Scott’ white military male from London, United Kingdom, by holding yourself out as such to unsuspecting members of the public via Gmail correspondence and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.”
He pleaded “guilty” to the charges when they were read to him.
Following his guilty plea, prosecution counsel, A.O. Mohammed, called on Suleiman Aminu an operative of the EFCC, to review the facts of the case.
Suleiman told the court that the defendant was arrested sometime in February 2024, following credible intelligence received by the Commission on the activities of some internet fraudsters operating at the Lekki axis of Lagos. He also told the court that an iPhone 11 was recovered from him at the point of arrest.
“In his statement, he confessed he was into dating scam and benefited the sum of $1,200,” Suleiman said.
The prosecution, sought to tender, in evidence, his extrajudicial statements, iPhone 11, bank draft of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) and forensic investigation documents printed out from his mobile devices.
Justice Aneke admitted them as exhibits and convicted the defendant as charged. He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment, with an option of a fine of N1,500,000 (One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira ) and 100 hours of Community Service.
The judge also ordered that the mobile phone and bank draft of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Martins’ journey to the Correctional Centre began when he was arrested by operatives of the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC for internet fraud.
He was charged to court and convicted.



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