The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, on Tuesday, October17 and Wednesday October 18, 2023, secured the conviction and sentencing of 26 internet fraudsters before Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of the Edo State High Court, Benin City.
The convicts are Pius Innocent Joel, Dortimi Obiagullu Abariowei, Okocha Nduka, Cloud Godspower Aghogho, Wilson Ifeanyi Nwabor, Ogbemudia Wisdom, Orubure Michelle Cyril, Sunday Victor, Akpevwe Edogheji, Emmanuel Omezi Chiedu, Sambo Doubra, Ogribi George Oworo, Success Oghenekevwe Jerry, Ebuka Ohika Okoli and Nnemeka Joseph Nnajiofor
Others are Adesioye Ajibola, Omojewe Solomon, Azubudike Emeka Kelvin, Clever Afokoghene Oliver, Favour Ighoatudu, Favour Ogagaoghene Ebebemore, Abariowei Godwin Preye, Eserruoma Bishop Blessing, Miracle Ogonnaya, Agholor Omobude Simeon and Destiny Emuejevoke
They were arraigned separately on one- count charge of unlawful possession of fraudulent documents by the Benin Zonal Command of EFCC.
The charge against Jerry reads: “that you Success Oghenekevwe Jerry on or about 1st August 2023 in Delta State within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known containeed false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of same Act.
Upon arraignment, all the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges, prompting prosecution counsels: F.A. Jirbo, I.M. Elodi, KY Bello, IK Agwai, Salihu Ahmed and A.A. Ibrahim, to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, the defence counsel prayed the court to temper justice with mercy “as the defendants were first time offenders who had been remorseful for his actions.”
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Joel, Abariowei, Aghogho, Victor, Edogheji, Aworo, Doubra, Solomon, Ajibola, Nnajiofor, Okoli, Preye, Ogonnaya, Simeon, Emuejevoke, Ighoatudu and Ebebemore to three years imprisonment with an option of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine)
The judge sentenced Nduka, Nwabor, Wisdom,, Jerry, Blessing and Oliver to three years imprisonment or a fine of N300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) while Kelvin bagged two years imprisonment with an option of fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira
Preye is to forfeit the sum of N3,123,112.49 (Three Million, One Hundred and Twenty-Three Thousand, One Hundred and Twelve Naira, forty-nine kobo) found on his bank account while the duo of Ighoatudu and Blessing are to forfeit their Mercedes Benz cars to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The convicts are to forfeit their mobile phones and any monies found in their bank accounts during investigations and being proceeds and instruments of crime to the Federal government of Nigeria through the EFCC.
The convicts bagged their imprisonment when they were arrested by operatives of the Commission based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in internet-related activities. They were charged to court and convicted.