The Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos State on Thursday convicted and sentenced a fake army general, Hassan Kareem, aka Bolarinwa Abiodun, to seven years imprisonment.
Kareem was convicted after he admitted to using the name of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to defraud a businessman, Bamidele Safiriyu, of N266.5 million.
The defendant was arrested at his house in the Alagbado area of Lagos State on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.
Kareem was arraigned on April 11, 2022, for falsely representing himself with a forged letter of appointment to the complainant, Kodef Clearing Resources, as a general in the Nigerian Army.
He claimed to have been shortlisted by the President, Muhammadu Buhari (retd) to be appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, and that he needed a short grant to process the appointment.
Responding, Oyedepo said although the defendant has no record of previous conviction, the court should impose a sentence to serve as deterrent to others who may want to engage in similar crime.
He further urged the court to order the forfeiture of four vehicles recovered from him — a black Range Rover Sport, a black BMW, a black Toyota Landcruiser, and a white Toyota Hilux — and a property located at 1A, Joke Ayo Street, Riverside estate, Alagbado, Lagos, as part of restitution to the victim.
Oyedepo also urged the court to order the closure of the First Bank account used to perpetrate the fraud, in which the defendant changed his name from “Hassan Karim Ayinde” to “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun” to perpetrate the fraud.
The defendant, however, pleaded guilty to all the charges.
While ruling on the 13 counts, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo ordered that the convict give the complainant N20 million.