Lagos Court Jails Airtel Staff 5 years for defrauding customers

Lagos,----- A Magistrates’ Court in ILagos has sentenced a customer service representative of Airtel Nigeria Ltd, Jeremiah Mustapha, to five years in prison for facilitating a N2.2 million fraud.

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

The prosecution said that the offences contravened Sections 287, 333(1), 340, 334, 365(1), 337, 380, 411and 415 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. 

They pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

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

The Magistrate court presided over by Mrs A. G. Omoyele, in her verdict, sentenced Mustapha after finding him guilty of five of the nine -count charge preferred against him by the police.

The magistrate sitting at Igbosere, sentenced Mustapha to one year on each of the five counts without an option of fine, and ordered that the sentence should run concurrently.

The sentence took effect from the day of sentencing.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Cyriacus Osuji, had told the court that the duo and others at large committed the offences on Oct. 10, 2016 in Lagos.

Osuji said that the first defendant used his position as in 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’s phone number, adding that the defendant unlawfully disconnected all network services linked to the Airtel number 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 added.