It was again harvest of convictions for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Office on Friday as 17 internet fraudsters were convicted and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State.
The fraudsters were arraigned separately on one count each of impersonation and obtaining by false pretence contrary to Section (22)(2)(b)(1)(ii) of the Cyber crime (prohibition prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22(b)(IV) of same Act.
The suspects include, Lukman Sarumi, Udaze Sylvester, Bassey Ibrahim, Nelson Aimieyekagbon, Felix Joshua, Udo Omoiyabra, Ikpomnwonsa Raymond, Endurance Adedugba and Welch Samuel.
Others are Abiodun Sadiq, Patrick Enahoro, Favour Okushi, Joseph Michael, Lawal Opeyemi Muyideen, Oladeji Tobi, Toafeek Dauda and Adepitan Oluwabunmi
The charge against Sarumi reads: “That you Lukman Sarumi (alias Le Xuan Dong) sometimes in February 2019 in Warri, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court and with intent to obtain property, did obtain the sum of $1500 (One thousand five United States dollars) from one Xuan Nguyen by fraudulently impersonating one Le Xuan Dong and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(ii)of the Cybercrime (prohibition prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2 )(b)(iv) of the same Act ”
He pleaded “guilty” to the charge when it was read to him. Similar charges were also preferred against the other defendants by the Commission and they all pleaded “guilty”.
In view of their plea, counsel for the EFCC, Larry Peters, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants in accordance with the plea bargain agreement between the prosecution and defendants.
Justice Dimgba, thus, convicted and sentenced Sarumi to one year imprisonment without an option of fine. Same sentence was handed down on Abiodun Sadiq who got one year imprisonment. Both are to forfeit their phones to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
For Oladeji Tobi, he was convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment and a fine of N300, 000. However, Justice Dimgba ruled that the vehicle recovered from him be released to the rightful owner, Mrs Folashade Oladeji as there was sufficient evidence that the vehicle belongs to his mother.
In the same vien, Favour Okushi was convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment and a fine of N200, 000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira). All items recovered from him are to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Other defendants, Welch Samuel, Omiyebabia Udo, Adedugba Endurance, Joseph Michael, Enahoro Patrick, Toafeek Duada, Udaze Sylvester Ikponmwosa Raymond, were all convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment and a fine of N200, 000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira). They are also to forfeit all assets traced and recovered from them to Federal Government of Nigeria.
Apart from the one year imprisonment and a fine of N200, 000, Adepitan Oluwabunmi is also to forfeit a Lexus ES330SUV and a laptop to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
However, for Felix Joshua, Lawal Opeyemi Muyideen and Nelson Aimieyekagbon, they were convicted and sentenced to seven months imprisonment each while Bassey Ibrahim was sentenced to eight months imprisonment.
All the convicts are also to forfeit their phones and other instruments of fraud recovered from them to the Federal Government of Nigeria.