A 45-year-old man, Olakunle Owoyale, who has been fleecing innocent job seekers of unearned money to the tune of N1.4 million will be out of circulation for at least five years, courtesy of an Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court.
Owoyale will serve five years in prison after he was convicted of N1.4 million fraud.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convict had pleaded not guilty to the charges of fraud, forgery and false representation brought against him.
The Magistrate, Mr Idowu Olayinka, said that all evidences tendered in court during the trial proved beyond reasonable doubts that the accused committed the three-count offences preferred against him.
Olayinka, in his judgment, said: “After all evidences tendered in court, I find the accused guilty of the three-count charge of fraud forgery and false representation.
“I consequently sentence the accused to five years imprisonment without an option of fine.”
Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Insp. Olakunle Shonibare, told the court that the accused committed the offences sometime between March and May 2017 at Alani Abiodun Street, Alogi in Obantoko area of Abeokuta.
Shonibare said the accused, who claimed to be a government-licensed recruitment agent for ministries, departments and agencies, fraudulently obtained various sums of money from 17 job applicants and appropriated the money.
“Owoyale fraudulently obtained N1. 48 million from one Kolawole Ogbontolu and 16 others on the pretext of assisting them to secure jobs at the Federal Ministry of Education.
“The accused also collected N60,000 from his wife, and gave her an appointment letter stating that she was posted to the Federal Secretariat Complex in Ogun.
“The complainant had to resign his previous job and also gave the accused another N70,000 after which the accused also gave him another appointment letter into the same Federal Ministry of Education.
“For that reason, the complainant introduced 15 other people to the accused all of whom he promised to assist to secure jobs.
“When the complainant submitted the appointment letter at the Ministry of Education, Federal Secretariat in Ogun, he was told that the employment letters were fake,” Shonibare said.
The prosecutor also said the accused forged the signature of one Mr Jamila Shaura, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education and also printed the letter heads of the ministry for the illegal transactions.
He said the impostor also presented himself as an official of the Federal Ministry of Education in Abeokuta.