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Travel Agent Bags 5 Years Jail Term For €40,000 Fraud

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Wednesday sentenced a 50-year-old travel agent, Abiodun Sadiq, to five years’ imprisonment for defrauding a man of 40,000 Euros for Maltese citizenship.

Sadiq was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission for parading himself as an agent of Maltese Government and defrauding Emmanuel of the sum.

During trial, the prosecution team lead by Mr S.O. Daji presented four witnesses and tendered eight exhibits to prove the case against Sadiq.

The prosecution said that the convict fraudulently collected the sum from Emmanuel for a Maltese Government citizenship investment programme and procurement of Maltese International Passport.

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He said the convict also forged an international passport with Number 7255732 with name – Babatunde Emmanuel Babalola – purporting the said passport to emanate from Passport Office in Malta.

Emmanuel, the second prosecution witness, narrated his ordeal in Europe on how he was humiliated and treated like a terrorist due to the forged passport.

According to Daji, the convict also forged two other Maltese international passports with names – Vincent Genesis Oyinlola and Vincent Olivia Ashinedun.

The offences were committed between May 14, 2019 and July 23, 2019 in Lagos State.

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He noted that the offences violated Section1(1)(a) (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences, 2006, and Section 363 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011

The convict did not plead guilty to an amended seven-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretences and forgery

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo found Sadiq guilty as charged and ordered him to make restitution to his victim, Mr Babatunde Emmanuel, adding that the prosecution proved all the seven counts against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.

She sentenced the convict to five years’ in prison on count one, and two years’ jail term each on counts two to seven.

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The judge, however, held that the sentences should run concurrently.

The Defence counsel, Mr P.A. Awe, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy and grant a non-custodial sentence to the convict.

NAN

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