An Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos has sentenced Jeremiah Mustapha, a customer service representative of Airtel Nigeria Ltd, to five years Imprisonment for facilitating N2.2 million fraud.
Mustapha, who was arraigned on June 14, 2017, was charged alongside one Nurudeen Salimu, on a nine-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, fraud and diverting messages from a phone number to another.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned and was granted bail.
However, the second defendant became mentally incapacitated, and could not continue with the trial.
Magistrate Mrs A. G. Omoyele, who handed down the verdict, sentenced Mustapha after finding him guilty of five counts out of the nine-count charge preferred against him by the police.
The magistrate sentenced Mustapha to one year on each of the five counts and ordered that the sentence should run concurrently.
She sentenced him without an option of fine and ordered that the sentence should take effect from the day of sentencing.
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Earlier, Sgt. Cyriacus Osuji, prosecutor, told the court that the duo and others at large committed the offences on Oct. 10, 2016 in Lagos.
Osuji said that the first defendant, Mustapha, used his position as the customer service representative of Airtel Nigeria Ltd and diverted all short messages service (sms), alerts and calls from an Airtel no. 08023843032 belonging to one Kazeem Dele to a fraudster phone number.
The prosecutor said that the defendant unlawfully disconnected all network services linked to the Airtel number above without the consent of the owner.
“The number swap aided the second defendant to steal the sum of N2.2 million from the Skye Bank account of the complainant.
“The second defendant forged the signature of the complainant, falsely represented himself as the owner of the account and withdrew the said sum from the account,” Osuji said.
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened Sections 287, 333(1), 340, 334, 365(1), 337, 380, 411 and 415 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
During the trial, Salimu became mentally incapacitated and could not continue with the trial.
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Magistrate A.G Omoyele convicted Mustapha on five out of the nine counts and sentenced him to one year imprisonment on each count without an option of fine.
She further ordered that the jail terms would run concurrently.