An Ikeja Special Offences Court has sentenced one Babatunde Rufai, also known as Richard Abben, to nine months imprisonment for internet fraud.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo convicted Rufai following his plea of guilty to a three-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of $5,000 (about N2million).

The Judge also ordered that the three exotic cars recovered from the convict be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The convict, who is the owner and promoter of “Wear It All Boutique” in Lekki, Lagos, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on March 5, 2020.

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Following Rufai’s plea, EFCC counsel Hamed Yerima told the judge that the convict had struck a plea bargain deal with the defence team.

Yerima prayed the court to adopt same and sentence the defendant based on the terms of the agreement.
Justice Taiwo granted his prayer.

She adopted the terms of the plea bargain and convicted the defendant accordingly.

“I am mindful of this type of crime in our society, which is giving our country a bad image all over the world.

“However, in view of the plea bargain agreement, the defendant is hereby sentenced to nine months in prison, with an option of fine of N400,000 to be paid to the account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the office of the EFCC,” Justice Taiwo held.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Babatunde Sodiq Rufai (a.k.a Richard Abben), on or about the 12th of December 2007 in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, used an email address: richardabben@yahoo.com, wherein you represented yourself as an American citizen carrying out contractual business in Africa and obtained the sum of $5,000, property of an unsuspecting citizen of the United States of America, thereby committed and offence contrary to sections 278 (1),(2) and 285 (1) of Lagos State, 2011.”

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