The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday March 7, 2023 secured the conviction of fourteen internet fraudsters before Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court Benin City.
They were arraigned by the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC on a separate one count charge of fraudulent personation.
The convicts are Gift Patrick, Lucky Paul Omofureta, Elvis John Mathew, Jeremiah Rebirth Umoru, Alex Aimuawosa Yuodegha and Daniel Mathew.
Others are; Edefe Isaiah, Ese Isaiah, Osas Igho Amos, Destiny Aghayere, Christian Oghenekewe, God’s power Osabuohien, Wisdom Christopher and Favour Osaghale.
The charge against Edefe Isaiah reads: “That you, Edefe Isaiah (M) sometime between 2021 and 15th December 2022 in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be Cheng Hen and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (as applicable in Edo State) 1976”.
The charge against Daniel Mathew reads: “That you, Daniel Mathew (M) sometime between the month of May and 15th December 2022 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be Martin Strauss, an Orthopedic Doctor from USA and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Law Cap.48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (as applicable in Edo State) 1976.”
The defendants upon arraignment pleaded guilty to their respective charges, prompting the prosecution counsel, Francis.A.Jirbo to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants, A.J. Benga prayed the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Isaiah to three years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine.
Furthermore, Patrick, Omofureta, Mathew, Umoru, Yuodegha, Isaiah, Amos, Aghayere, Oghenekewe, Christopher and Osabuohien bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira each.
However, the duo of Mathew and Osaghale were sentenced to community service.
The judge also ruled that the convicts forfeit their phones and laptops being instrument of to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.