A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 sentenced five persons to five years’ imprisonment each for defrauding the immediate past Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, of a sum of N38m.
They were also convicted for posting a nude video of the former lawmaker online.
The convicts — Kazeem Agbabiaka, Femi Oyebode, Abdul-Rasheed Ojonla, Babatunde Oluajo, Adebiyi Kehinde, and Ismaila Azeez — were also found guilty and convicted for blackmailing and defrauding Owoeye with the video which went viral on the internet.
The ugly incident happened in 2018 when the blackmailers released the 13-second nude video which allegedly showed Owoeye, who represented Ilesa East at the State Assembly, taking a bath in the market place at night.
In the viral video, Owoeye was seen being accosted by a group of individuals who accused him of being involved in a ritual bath in a market square, which they further claimed was meant to ensure his success in the 2019 general elections.
Agbabiaka (herbalist), Oyebode (community leader), Ojonla (community leader) and Babatunde (Prince) were convicted of conspiracy and advance-fee fraud while Adebiyi was convicted of cyberstalking.
Throughout the trial that lasted for four years, the prosecution presented 57 exhibits including flash drives and bank statements from Guaranty Trust Bank, Wema Bank, and First Bank, amongst others.
Delivering his judgment on Tuesday, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola found five of the accused persons guilty of conspiracy, advance fee fraud, and cyberstalking, among others, and thereby sentenced them to five years each.
Justice Ayoola established that the convicts swindled the ex-Speaker of N38 million and also posted his nude video on the internet which caused him (Owoeye) ridicule.
The Counsel to the convicts pleaded with the Judge to temper justice with mercy on the ground that they were first-time offenders and family men.
However, the judge sentenced all the convicts, who were initially arraigned in court on October 19, 2018, to five years’ imprisonment each.