Lagos Court Jails Social Media Influencer For Celebrity Scam

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

Naija News reports that Aluko Tunmise, known for his significant following on social platforms, was prosecuted by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He faced a one-count charge of cybercrime for impersonating notable figures online.

The charge against him read: “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 for the purpose of procuring 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.”

Upon his arraignment, Tunmise pleaded guilty to the charge.

In light of his plea, prosecution counsel, C.C. Okezie, presented EFCC operative Vincent Sunday Kwambuge, who detailed Tunmise’s arrest in March 2024 at Lekki County Estate, Lagos, following intelligence about internet fraudsters in the area.

Kwambuge disclosed that an iPhone 12 Pro Max was recovered from Tunmise at the time of arrest.

Further investigations revealed that Tunmise confessed to using his platform to impersonate celebrities, a tactic aimed at defrauding unsuspecting victims.

Evidence, including the defendant’s statements and forensic documents, were tendered and accepted by the court.

Defence counsel A.O. Idowu requested leniency, citing Tunmise’s first-time offender status and his remorse for his actions. Idowu also appealed for a non-custodial sentence.

However, Justice Aneke sentenced Tunmise to one-year imprisonment with an option of an N300,000 fine and mandated 100 hours of community service.

Additionally, the court ordered the forfeiture of Tunmise’s iPhone to the Federal Government of Nigeria, emphasizing the consequences of cybercrimes and the need for deterrence in the digital age.

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