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Fake American soldier convicted over internet scam

ABUJA—A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, sitting at Maitama, yesterday, convicted one Osahon Scott, who was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for posing as a United States military officer to perpetrate online fraud.

In a count charge it filed before the court, EFCC, alleged that the convict pretended that he was Gen. Sgt. Major John Rossi, an American soldier deployed to Afghanistan on peace keeping mission. EFCC told the court that the defendant fraudulently induced one Li Sufung to deliver the sum of 20, 000 Yuan (Twenty Thousand Yuan), claiming that it was payment for cost of “non inspection of certificate”.

The suspect, who was docked before Justice Umar Bature for fraud and cheating, pleaded guilty to the charge. Based on a plea bargain document he signed with the prosecution on March 4, 2019, which was brought to the court pursuant to Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA 2015, he was accordingly convicted.

The prosecuting counsel, Deborah Ademu-Eteh, who tendered the document before the court, argued that the defendant should be sentenced in line with terms of his plea bargain. However, the defence counsel, Mr. Ochumba Kingsley, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, even as he urged the trial Judge to consider that the defendant was consistent with his custody terms. He further drew attention of the court to the health status of the defendant, who he said was suffering from peptic ulcer. Besides, the defence lawyer told the court that the defendant is a surviving son of a single mother, an aging grandfather, describing him as a young man with a bright future ahead who is remorseful of his actions. After he had listened to the submissions, Justice Bature deferred sentence of the convict till March 19.

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