By Sulaimon Sheriff

Justice Bayo Taiwo of the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan, convicted and sentenced Olaniyan Gbenga Amos to seventy-five years imprisonment for multiple investment fraud on Thursday, December 14, 2023. Amos was convicted alongside his firm, Detorrid Heritage Investment Limited. They faced 35-count charges prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), bordering on obtaining by false pretences, contrary to Section 1(1) (a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.

One of the charges read: “That you Olaniyan Gbenga Amos and Detorrid Heritage Investment Limited on or about the 20th of February, 2020, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N1,540,000 (One million, Five Hundred and Forty Thousand only) from Akinlabi Qasim Dada, when you falsely represented to him that the money was meant for registration and investment with Crime Alert Security Network with a promise of 30% return on investment in six weeks (30 working days), which representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence of obtaining money under false pretence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.”

During the trial, the defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. The EFCC Counsel, Sanusi Galadanchi, opened the case on February 17, 2022, called six witnesses, tendered eight exhibits, and closed the case on January 24, 2023. Following the prosecution’s case, the defendant filed a “no case submission,” which was overruled by the court. Subsequently, the defendant opened and closed his case by calling three witnesses. Justice Taiwo reserved judgment in the matter until December 14, 2023.

On December 14, 2023, Justice Taiwo convicted and sentenced the defendant to fifteen years imprisonment on each of counts 27, 32, 33, 34, and 35 but discharged and acquitted the defendant on other counts. The court ordered that the sentence should run concurrently and that the defendant should restitute the victims.

Amos has three other ongoing trials before Federal and State High Courts in Ibadan, Oyo State. His journey to the Correctional Centre began when he was arrested and arraigned before Justice Bayo Taiwo on December 14, 2021, by the EFCC. His fraudulent schemes led to the loss of over N1 billion by investors who were promised returns on their investments but were never paid.