At least 19 young men proven to be internet fraudsters have been tried and sentenced by an Edo state High court.
This was disclosed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) via it’s Twitter account.
The 19 fraudsters sentenced by Justices Efe Ikponmwonba and M. Itsueli are Fidelis Esajini, Nicholas Azeke, Marvelous Alakpa, Adelike Ifeakachukwu Destiny, Osamwingie Osarenwinda, Mathias Friday Gbenga; Collins Etiosa Iyekeoretin, Anyanwu Miracle, Justice Aifo, Emmanuel Efetobor.
The rest are Osahenie Louis Uwoghiren, Emmanuel Osifo, Timothy Nowamagbe, Desmond Taiwo, Atunu Brilliant Ewomaoghene, Elvis Onojebe, Promise Uduaghan, Francis Uzoma Okoliko and Omokaro Omonefe
The accused were all arraigned individually by the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC on a one-count charge based on criminal possession of items belonging to victims, fraudulent representation and unlawfully holding on to fraudulent documents.
The charge against Collins Etiosa Iyekeoretin reads: “that you, Collins Etiosa Iyekeoretin sometime between 23rd January 2018 and 26th May 2023 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did retain the control of the aggregate sum of N303,304,519:69 in your UBA bank account number: 1021606211 on behalf of Osawonyi Ella, knowing that same represent the proceeds of criminal conduct of the said Osawonyi Ella and others and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( Establishment ) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 17(b) of the same Act.”
The charge against Fidelis Esajini reads. “That you, Fidelis Esajini sometime in May 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be one Lisa, a citizen of the United States of America 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”.
After the charge was read to them, they all pleaded guilty and the prosecuting counsel, F.A.Jirbo, I.M Elodi, Saliu Ahmed, A.A.Ibrahim and AS Balariba asked the court to punish them accordingly.
Since they were arraigned as first time offenders, their counsel pleaded for mercy as they have confessed to have learnt their lessons.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Esajini, Destiny, Osarenwinda, Gbenga, Iyekeoretin, Nowamagbe, Ewomaoghene and Okoliko to three years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira as a fine.
He also sentenced Azeke, Miracle, Aifo, Efetobor, Uwoghiren, and Osifo three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each.
Alakpa was slammed a three year imprisonment or a fine of N300,000 and Taiwo got two years imprisonment or a fine of N300,000.
Promise Uduaghan, Elvis Onojebe and Omokaro Omonefe were given a sentence of three years by Justice Itsueli or a fine of N200,000.
Six vehicles – Lexus ES350, Black Mercedes ML350, Mercedes Benz C-30 model, Mercedes Benz ML 350, Lexus NX, Toyota Corolla- iPad, laptops, phones and the balance in the defendants’ bank accounts were all forfeited.