Nigeria Newspapers

Man bags 10 years for defrauding Hajj pilgrims 


Justice Oyindamola Ogala of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, has sentenced Alhaji Sharafadeen Irorun to 10 years imprisonment for scamming Muslim pilgrims of N7,500,000.

The trial judge had, on April 29, found Irorun guilty on four out of a 12-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence and stealing brought against him by the Lagos State Government.
Ogala held that the prosecution sufficiently established that the defendant and others, who are at large, are a criminal group and convicted Irorun on counts 1, 2, 5 and 6.

She said: “The defendant and others who are at large are a criminal group who unwittingly dispossess innocent persons of their money under the pretext of helping them to undergo the Hajj pilgrimage.”

The judge found him guilty of the provision of Section 312, 285 (9) (b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

She therefore sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment, ordering that the term commence from June 6, 2022.

Recall that during trial, the prosecution counsel, Mr O. A. Azeez, called three witnesses which included one of the nominal complainants who contributed the money that the third prosecution witness (PW3), Alhaji Lukman Abdulkareem, gave to the defendant.

The judge found that the PW1 and PW2 had no direct involvement with the defendant but supported the evidence of the PW3 who was involved with the defendant and whose evidence she called “succinct and direct.”

She said: “It is also clear to the court that the evidence of PW1 and PW2 are fair, consistent to the case, and indeed corroborate the evidence of PW3.”

But the judge acquitted Irorun of the other eight counts in the charge against him after she stated that the prosecution had insufficient evidence to convict.