The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Sokoto Zonal Office on Monday June 21, 2021 secured the conviction of Murtala Abdullateef before Justice Malami Dogondaji of the Sokoto State High Court sitting in Sokoto on one count charge, for attempting to defraud foreigners through Facebook while presenting himself as a United States Army General serving in war-torn Syria.
The charge reads, “that you Murtala Abdullateef sometime in May, 2021 in Sokoto, within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Justice of Sokoto State, dishonestly hacked into Facebook accounts of several European women with intent to defraud them of their hard-earned monies wherein you represented yourself to them as a General in the U. S Army on a peace keeping mission in Syria and you thereby attempted to commit the offence of cheating contrary to Section 58 of the Sokoto State Penal Code Law 2019 and punishable under Section 311 of the same Law.”
Upon arraignment, he pleaded guilty to the charge.
In view of the defendant’s plea, the prosecuting counsel, Habila Jonathan asked the Court to convict and sentence him accordingly. However, the defence counsel, Shamsu Dauda, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy on the grounds that his client is a first time offender who had become remorseful.
Justice Dogondaji, thereafter convicted and sentenced Abdullateef to ten (10) years in prison with option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000.00) fine.
The convict’s journey to prison began when he was arrested along with six other suspects on May 25, 2021 at Badariya in Birnin Kebbi metropolis by operatives of Department of State Services (DSS), for suspected involvement in internet fraud. The other six suspects have been prosecuted and convicted on a separate charge.