A Nigerian man, Abolaji Onafuye, 54, has been convicted on charges of fraud, after he claimed £32,000 in donations and housing support upon lying to authorities that he lived in Grenfell tower and that his sister and nephew were both killed in the fire that destroyed it in June 2017.
A jury, on Tuesday, convicted the father of five of fraud after hearing he was not related to victims of the fire, Zainab Deen and her two-year-old son Jeremiah, reports Metro UK.
Isleworth Crown Court in West London heard that Onafuye claimed thousands and racked up a hotel bill of £35,000 after Kensington Council initially accepted his claim that he had lived in the tower.
The property consultant was given emergency accommodation in the four-star Grosvenor Hotel in Belgravia, Central London.
He later claimed he had suffered ‘mental trauma’ from seeing people screaming for help inside the tower, but analysis of his mobile phone found he was 12 miles away from the site on the day of the fire.
After he was arrested, Onafuye, who is from Hammersmith in West London attempted to blame his fraudulent claims on low blood sugar, saying he was ‘hallucinating’ and ‘temporarily insane’ because he had been fasting.
It has been revealed that he would be sentenced at a later date.
Michael Phillips, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said, “Abolaji Onafuye had no connections to the Grenfell Tower tragedy but saw an opportunity to benefit himself, both financially and with accommodation.
“Our prosecution was able to prove he had repeatedly and intentionally lied and that his post-arrest story that it had all been an innocent mistake was just an attempt to escape the consequences of his cruel deception.”