Lagos Court Convicts Alhaji for Scamming Muslim Pilgrims

Lagos Court Convicts Alhaji for Scamming Muslim Pilgrims
In a significant development, the Ikeja High Court has rendered its verdict in the case of Alhaji Sharafadeen Irorun, convicting him of defrauding 46 Muslim pilgrims of a staggering sum totaling N7,500,000.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala, presiding over the case on Monday, delivered the judgment, finding Irorun guilty on four counts out of a 12-count charge brought against him by the Lagos State Government. The charges included obtaining by false pretense and stealing.

Justice Ogala, in her ruling, affirmed the prosecution's case, asserting that Irorun and his accomplices, who remain at large, formed a criminal syndicate that preyed on unsuspecting individuals under the guise of facilitating the Hajj pilgrimage.

The prosecution, led by O. A. Azeez, presented three witnesses, including two of the victims (PW1, PW2) who had contributed money to Irorun through the third prosecution witness (PW3), Alhaji Lukman Abdulkareem.

The judge found the testimonies of PW1 and PW2 consistent and corroborative of PW3's account, which detailed the fraudulent scheme orchestrated by Irorun. However, she acquitted him of the remaining eight counts due to insufficient evidence.

During the trial, PW3 recounted how he and 45 others had entrusted their funds to Irorun for the procurement of pilgrimage forms from the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Board. Subsequently, when attempting to claim their rightful places on the pilgrimage, they discovered they had been deceived.

Justice Ogala noted the defense's argument that the Investigating Police Officer was not presented in court and Irorun denied directly accepting money from the victims. However, after careful consideration of the evidence, the judge concluded that Irorun was complicit in the scam.

The sentencing of the convict is scheduled for May 22, 2024, following any additional submissions from the parties involved. This verdict serves as a significant milestone in the pursuit of justice for the victims of fraudulent schemes, underscoring the judiciary's commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting the interests of the public.

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