It was a harvest of convictions for the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday as 27 fraudsters and three others were convicted and sentenced to jail by Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The three others were convicted for perversion of justice.
The convicted Internet fraudsters were arraigned separately on one count charge bordering on impersonation and obtaining by false pretences.
They are Okei Morrison Onome, Ejiro Nwaju, Oki Alex Efe, Omoghene Gift, Collins Odinaka, Onyue Martins Ifeanyi, Azubuike Christian, Achiever Effiong, Adeniyi Michael Femi, Eze John Paul, Akinayomide James, Adejube Isaac Oluwadunsin, Isaac Phillip, Ibrahim Olalekan Olagoke and Paul Obinna Thomas.
Others are Damilola Michael, Umoru Mosuru, Dotun Ogunboye Olaleye, Adekunle Joshua, Elliot Igunbor, Ezomo Junior, David Oluwatobi, Ereoman Emmanuel, Oyetunde Victor Temitope, Nurudeen Abiodun Imole and Adeboye Victor.
The charge against one of them read: “That you Adebuje Isaac Oluwadunsin on the 5th day of August, 2021 at Ondo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the identity of one Michelle Orton a (white woman) and citizens of the United States of America in your Samsung S8 and email address [email protected] to gain advantage for yourself and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(i) and (ii) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2)(iv) of the same Act”.
The three sureties who were arraigned for perversion of justice are Lewis Ogenkhene, Ughoshe Adolphus and Osazuwa Efosa Robertson.
The charge against Ogenkhene read: “That you Lewis Ogenkhene (m) on or about the 15th day of September, 2020 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did knowingly make a false statement to Detective Ajisafe Wasiu an officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the course of the exercise of the duties of his office which statement is untrue in any material particular and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 39(2)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 39(2)(b)of the same Act”.
All the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges when they were read to them.
The prosecution counsels, Francis Jirbo, Austin Ozigbu and Ibrahim Mohammed, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.
Justice Mohammed convicted and sentenced the quartet of Imole, Olagoke Ibrahim, Odinaka, John Paul, Adekunle Joshua to three years imprisonment with the option of N500, 000 fine each.
The duo of Damilola Michael and David Oluwatobi was sentenced to two years imprisonment or N300, 000 fine each.
Others bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 each while the three sureties bagged two years imprisonment with an option of N100,000 fine each.