Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, convicted and sentenced one Aluko Tunmise, a self-acclaimed social media influencer and model, to one year imprisonment for a celebrity scam.

He was arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a one-count charge bordering on cybercrimes.

One of the counts reads: “That you, ALUKO TUNMISE JUWONLO (A.K.A. KEANU REEVES), sometime between January and March, 2024 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, directly made a false statement, wherein you held yourself out as a white man by name “KEANU REEVES” on your Telegram Account, knowing same to be false and with intent that the representation is relied upon to procure the issuance of financial instrument to yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(3) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.”

He pleaded “guilty” to the  charge when it was read to him.

Following his guilty plea,   prosecution counsel, C.C.Okezie, sought to present an operative of the EFCC, Vincent Sunday Kwambuge, to review the facts of the matter.

Kwanbuge told the court that the defendant was arrested sometime in March, 2024 at Lekki County Estate, Lagos, following credible intelligence received by the Commission on the activities of some internet fraudsters operating in the area.

According to him, an iPhone 12 Pro Max  was recovered from the defendant at the point of arrest.

The prosecution counsel also told the court that “upon his arrest, he was duly processed and the defendant volunteered his statements.  The investigation was conducted and forensic evidence was printed out from his phone.

“In his statement, he confessed he was into celebrity scam, which is an impersonation of celebrities.”

Okezie, therefore, sought to tender, in evidence, the defendant’s extra-judicial statements, iPhone and forensic investigation documents.

Justice Aneke admitted them as exhibits.  Counsel to the defendant, A.O. Idowu, prayed the court for leniency, saying that the defendant “is a first-time offender and is sorry for his actions.”

He also prayed the court for a non-custodial sentence.  Justice Aneke convicted and sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment, with an option of fine of N300,000( Three  Hundred Thousand Naira), with 100 hours of community service.

The Judge also ordered that his mobile phone be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.    Tunmise bagged his imprisonment for impersonating celebrities for pecuniary gains.

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