Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has sentenced a self-styled Customs officer, Yakubu Azeez Afolayan, to 20 years imprisonment for offences bordering on impersonation and job scam.
The convict was said to have been parading himself as a Customs officer, and fraudulently swindling unsuspecting job seekers under the guise of helping them to secure employment into the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), before the long arm of the law caught up with him.
The 34-year-old man, from Share in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, was arraigned on March 14, 2019 on a four-count charge by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), but he had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
In the course of the trial, which lasted for over two years, the prosecution called four witnesses, including one of his victims, an officer from the Nigerian Customs Service and the Investigating Officer who is an operative of the EFCC.
In his judgment, Justice Abdulgafar opined that from the totality of the evidence placed before the court, the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and linked the accused person to the crime.
He said: “It is very clear from the totality of the evidence of PW1 – PW4 that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts. It was the evidence of PW1 that the Nigerian Customs Service does not sell its recruitment forms to job applicants, but the defendant was collecting various sum of monies from his victims as application fees. All this evidence was not challenged or controverted by the defendant,” said the judge.
“Another aspect to be considered in this case is the statements made by the defendant while he was in the custody of the EFCC. The statements were made voluntarily and he (Yakubu) confessed to the crime.”