The six months jail term handed over to Lawal Sholaru, an internet fraudster, may likely go down in the history of the Nigerian judiciary as the first conviction of an acussed via virtual proceeding.
As the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 was able to secure his conviction via virtual proceeding. Sholaru bagged six months imprisonment or a N400,000 (Four Hundred Thousand Naira) option of fine for defrauding an American, Mr. David Geobel, of $1,200 in an online scam.
Sholaru was convicted by Justice Mojisola Dada of Ikeja Special Offences Court in a judgment, delivered in a virtual proceeding.
The convict was arraigned on March 18, 2020 by the EFCC on one-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence, to which he pleaded guilty.
Prosecution counsel, S.O. Daji while reviewing the facts of the case, told the court that the defendant in his statement to the EFCC, confessed that he was into romance scam with the pseudo name, Alicia White, a US national on Facebook and additionally posed as William Bale, a Major-General in the US Army, to defraud his unsuspecting victims.
In addition to the prison term, Justice Dada ordered the convict’s forfeiture of his Lexus ES 350 and any other property recovered from him by the EFCC as proceed of crime to the federal government.