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Airtel customer service representative sentenced to five years Imprisonment for facilitating N2.2m fraud

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A Lagos Magistrates’ Court sitting in Igbosere, on Tuesday, handed down five years jail term to a customer service representative of Airtel Nigeria Ltd, Jeremiah Mustapha, for facilitating a fraud to the tune of N2.2 million.

Mustapha, 32, alongside one Nurudeen Salimu, 35, was arraigned on June 14, 2017, on a nine-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, fraud, and diverting messages from a phone number to another.

They however pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

During the trial, the second defendant became mentally incapacitated and could not continue with the trial.

Magistrate Mrs. A. G. Omoyele, who handed down the verdict, sentenced Mustapha after finding him guilty of five counts out of the nine-count charge preferred against him by the police.

The magistrate sentenced Mustapha to one year on each of the five counts and ordered that the sentence should run concurrently.

She sentenced him without an option of fine and ordered that the sentence should take effect from the day of sentencing.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Sergeant Cyriacus Osuji told the court that the duo and others at large committed the offenses on October 10, 2016, in Lagos.

Osuji said that the first defendant, Mustapha, used his position as the customer service representative of Airtel Nigeria Ltd and diverted all short messages service (SMS), alerts, and calls from an Airtel no. 08023843032 belonging to one Kazeem Dele to a fraudster phone number.

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The prosecutor said that the defendant unlawfully disconnected all network services linked to the Airtel number above without the consent of the owner.

“The number swap aided the second defendant to steal the sum of N2.2 million from the Skye Bank account of the complainant.

“The second defendant forged the signature of the complainant, falsely represented himself as the owner of the account, and withdrew the said sum from the account,” Osuji said.

According to the prosecutor, the offenses committed are contrary to and punishable under Sections 287, 333(1), 340, 334, 365(1), 337, 380, 411and 415 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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