Social media influencer sentenced to 1 year imprisonment

A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on May 15, 2024 sentenced Aluko Tunmise, a self-proclaimed social media influencer and model, to one year in prison for engaging in a celebrity scam.

The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Tunmise with cybercrimes.

According to the EFCC’s statement released on Friday night, the charge specified that between January and March 2024, Tunmise, under the alias “Keanu Reeves,” falsely represented himself as a white man on Telegram to obtain financial benefits.

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This act violated Section 22(3) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015.

Tunmise pleaded guilty to the charge.

During the court session, EFCC prosecution counsel C.C. Okezie presented Vincent Sunday Kwambuge, an EFCC operative, who detailed the investigation. Kwambuge stated that Tunmise was apprehended in March 2024 at Lekki County Estate, Lagos, based on reliable intelligence about internet fraud activities in the area.

An iPhone 12 Pro Max was seized from Tunmise during his arrest.

The prosecution revealed that Tunmise had admitted to engaging in a celebrity scam, involving impersonating well-known personalities.

Forensic evidence from his phone corroborated his confession. The court accepted the defendant’s statements, the recovered phone, and the forensic documents as exhibits.

Defense counsel A.O. Idowu requested leniency, noting that Tunmise was a first-time offender and expressed remorse. Idowu also appealed for a non-custodial sentence.

Justice Aneke sentenced Tunmise to one year in prison but offered an alternative of a N300,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. Additionally, the court ordered the forfeiture of Tunmise’s mobile phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Tunmise’s sentencing highlights the legal consequences of impersonating celebrities for financial gain.

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