N525m fraud:Court jails fraudster 235 years in Uyo 

Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo has sentenced a notorious international fraudster, Scales Olatunji, to 235 years imprisonment for internet fraud and money laundering.

Olatunji was arraigned on July 2, 2019 on 45-count charges bordering on identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy.

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, thus setting the stage for his trial.  

Spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Wilson Uwujaren in a statement, Wednesday, said  the commission ‘s counsel,  Nwandu  Ukoha, opened the  case on November 7, 2019 and subsequently tendered thirty-five(35)  exhibits through four prosecution witnesses,   which were all admitted in evidence against the defendant.  He closed the case on January 29, 2021 for the defence to open its defence.

Both the prosecution and  defence  counsel adopted their written addresses in October 2021, before the court adjourned for judgment.

Delivering judgment on Monday, June 27, 2022, Justice Okeke convicted  Olatunji on all the 45- counts preferred against him by the EFCC.   

Justice Okeke said that, “the evidence of the prosecution witnesses are consistent and the prosecution established the guilt of the defendant in the case of money laundering as it relates to count one to five of the charges.

The prosecution also established the guilt of the defendant in the offence of cybercrime as it relates to count six to forty five of the charges. The prosecution, on the totality of evidence before this court, proved the charges against the defendant.”

The judge sentenced Olatunji to seven (7) years imprisonment on counts one to five,   and five (5) years imprisonment on counts six to forty-five. The sentence, shall, however, run concurrently with effect from the date of arrest. 

The court also ordered that the money in the convict’s account be forfeited to Norwegian citizens through the EFCC. Also, his properties: House No. 6, located on Road 2 West-end Estate, Ikota,  Lekki, Lagos State and  House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate, Lagos dtate are to be sold by the EFCC and the proceeds restituted to the Norwegian victims.

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