The long arm of the law has caught up with a 48 year old man, Olusoji Abiodun Ilori as he was convicted and sentenced to a cumulative120 years jail term by a High Court sitting in Ibadan , Oyo State for offences bordering on fraud, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence.
Arraigned on a 40 count charge, Ilori bagged three years jail term for each of the 40 counts.
However, he is to spend only three years in prison as the jail terms is to run concurrently.
Delivering judgment, Justice M. Abimbola of the High Court of Oyo State , Ibadan , stated that the jail sentence was to serve as a deterrent to the convict and others who may be nursing the idea of engaging in fraudulent activities. He also stated that it is his hope that the three years in prison would serve as a reformatory period for the convict.
Ilori’s road to jail began when he was arraigned on the September 17, 2009 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He has since then been in jail as he was refused bail by the court because of the enormity of the offence.
He was arrested in March 2009 at the Dugbe Post Office, Ibadan while posting over 200 scam letters containing forged United Kingdom documents meant to be delivered to unsuspecting victims. He also had 213 letters purportedly signed by one Mr. Benson Nwosu of Fidelity Registrar, which Fidelity Bank Plc has since confirmed to be fake as the bank stated that it has no subsidiary company with the name Fidelity Registrar.
“The 213 letters purportedly signed by Mr. Benson Nwosu of Fidelity Registrar, were forged as we do not have any employee by such name. The blank letter headed paper was also forged,. the logo and lettering imitated our regular letter heads while they listed our Board of Directors underneath it, but we disown the document as it was forged and did not originate from us”, Fidelity Bank Plc had stated.
Ilori in his advance fee fraud venture also had 212 letters purportedly signed by one Neil Freeman, Centre Manager, Inland Revenue Centre for Non-Residents, Fitzroy House, Nottingham , United Kingdom . However EFCC through its collaboration with Serious Organised Crime Agency, SOCA , UK , discovered that though the address is correct, the content was false.
“Whilst the address is correct, the Inland Revenue was replaced by HMRC several years ago and therefore the forms are false as they are dated March 2009. The return envelope is addressed to a mail box with no connection to HMRC”, a letter from SOCA had stated. All the disowned documents were forged by Ilori with a view to extract information and dupe unsuspecting members of the public.
All of them were however used as evidence and exhibits against the accused person before Justice Abimbola who condemned the attitude of some Nigerians who are desperate to make money at all cost and by any means possible, thereby bastardising the image of Nigeria . He said the misadventure of Ilori and other scammers was capable of scaring away foreign investors and businessmen from the country.
Count one of the charges reads: Forgery contrary to section 467 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria , 2000. Olusoji Abiodun Ilori on or about the 25 day of March 2009 at Dugbe Post Office, Ibadan within the Ibadan judicial division with intent to defraud, forged a letter dated 18th March 2009 purportedly written by Neil Freeman, Centre manager, Inland Revenue Centre for Non-Residents, Fitzroy House, P. O. Box 46 Nottingham NG21BD to Mr. Samuel H. Mokwunyer and Mrs Bridget A. Cinwuzor of Suite 3A, Princess Court, 27 Ahmed Onibudo, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Count two of the charges reads: Forgery contrary to section 467 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria , 2000. Olusoji Abiodun Ilori on or about the 25 day of March 2009 at Dugbe Post Office, Ibadan within the Ibadan judicial division with intent to defraud, forged a letter dated 18th March 2009 purportedly written by Neil Freeman, Centre manager, Inland Revenue Centre for Non-Residents, Fitzroy House, P. O. Box 46 Nottingham NG21BD to Professor A. G. Falade, P. O. Box 29840 Secretariat Post Office, Ibadan, Nigeria.
The convict has since Monday October 11 when the judgement was delivered, been taken back to Agodi prisons Ibadan.