The Convicted Fake Army General
Fake Army General Bags 7 Years Jail Term, Forfiets Properties Over Fraud, Impersonation
A fake Army General, Abioduno Bolarinwa, who has been parading himself, as Nigeria’s next-in-line Chief of Army Staff, have been convicted and sentenced to seven years, for impersonation and fraud of N266.5 million, by an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos.
The fake Army General, who also bears Hassan Kareem Ayinde, was given the jail term to by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, who presided over the court, without option of fine, after he pleaded guilty to the 13 counts charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In her judgment, Justice Taiwo held that she intends to send strong message to scammers given country a bad name, noting that the convict shows the length scammer can go to defraud the innocent victims.
“The defendant portrayed himself to be an Army General, he forged the signature of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and current president Mohammadu Buhari, in defrauding and obtaining by false pretenses from the victims.
“He so perfected the scam by the level of his education, that one wonders that if such individual should be allow to walk scot free. It is so sad that people like this have given our dear country a bad name.
“I therefore sentence you Abiodun Olusegun Abolarinwa to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine.”
The judge further ordered that, “the convict should pay the victim, N20 million and the four vehicles: Blank Range Rover, Black BMW car, Black Toyota Land Cruiser, and White Toyota Hilux with reg no Lagos KTU 985 ET recovered from him be forfeited.
“His property situated at No 1A, Joke Ayo Street, Alagbado be also forfeited and his First Bank account No 3050622693 opened with name
Hassan Kareem Ayinde and later change to Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun he used in perpetrated the fraud be closed.”
The anti-graft had alleged that the convict obtaining money by false pretence, forgery of documents and possession of documents containing false pretence to the tune of N266, 500 million.
His offences contravened Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006; Section 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006, respectively.
He posed as a General in the Nigerian Army, accused by the EFCC of making false representations to the complainant, Kodef Clearing Resources, that the President , Muhammadu Buhari, had short-listed him and one other to be appointed as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), and that he needed a short grant to “press and process the appointment.”
He was alleged of forging a letter of appointment as COAS purportedly signed by the President and showed the same to the victim to further prove his claim.
Abiodun was also accused of forging a Nigeria Army Identity Card with serial number 387140, claiming the same to have been issued to him from the Nigerian Army, and another forged Letter of Recommendation purportedly signed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo recommending one Adebayo Rasaq Adebola, with recruitment No 77RRI/OG/556/0032555 and Adeogun Emmanuel Adesola with recruitment No 77RRI/OG/352/0123751 for employment into the Nigeria Army.
He was also accused of being in possession of a forged Certificate of Confirmation dated November 7, 2018, purporting the same to have emanated from the Nigerian Army Headquarters.
He was also accused of being in possession of a forged document titled: Letter of Authorization, purportedly signed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo permitting De-Rock Maritime Resource Limited, to enter Apapa Port freely and load their truck.
During his trial, the EFCC counsel had called six witnesses and tenders several documents as exhibit.
However, when the case was called today, the Convict informed the court his intention to change his plea from not guilty he pleaded initially to guilty. So he was re-arraigned on 13 counts.
The prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, prayed the court to convict the defendant as charged. He said that the court should considered the interest of the victim, the gravity of the offence that victims have lost huge money and some properties to the convict.
“Whatever the victim can get, noted that the convict was charged for defrauding N266.5 million. His acct in first bank he used to defraud be closed. We have shown in our exhibit G that defendant name while he was opening account bears Hassan Kareem Ayinde, he approached the bank to change his name to Abiodun Bolarinwa. The document forged was purported to be signed by the President.”
Convict’s counsel, Otunba Ogunleye, in his allocutus prayed court to temper justice with mercy.
He told the court that the Convict is middle age man of 50 years old, with a wife and several challenges as well as extended family member under his care.
“The Convict have been remorseful and considering his age, we urged the court to be inspire by the provision provided by the charge he plead to.The purpose of the sentence is to serve as detergent to other. I urge the court in the spirit of showing mercy to Convict by temper justice with mercy.”