Justice M. L. Shuiabu of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, on Monday convicted and sentenced one Gift Onyegam to ten years imprisonment without an option of fine for duping a blind teacher, Rosemary Ihekanacho of a sum of N830, 000 under the pretext that he would help her son secure employment with an oil company.
The convict was also ordered to pay the sum of N711, 000 (seven hundred and eleven thousand naira) in restitution to the victim.
Onyegam, who was arrested in 2013 following complaint by the victim, was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on a 4-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.
One of the counts read: “That you Gift Onyegam sometimes in August, 2012, in Enugu within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of five hundred and forty one thousand naira (N541,000.00) from Rosemary Ihekanacho through First Bank account No 3050676816 belonging to Okoh Ayebaye Susan by false pretence that the said money is meant for securing a job for her son at Shell Petroleum Development Company, which pretence you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.
The convict pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The victim was tricked into believing the scam when, in July 2012, she received a call from one Patrick Abah whom she met at an NYSC Orientation Camp in 2009. He told her that he could help her secure employment with SPDC, through his in-law, Okoh Ayabaye, a purported Engineer with the oil major in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The victim got interested and told them that her son needed employment. She proceeded to pay various sums amounting toN830, 000 into three bank accounts provided by the tricksters.