Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting Calabar, Cross River state has convicted and sentenced six internet fraudsters, for their involvement in various internet-related offences.

The convicts are: Ezenwadike Kingsley, Ugwuoke Keneth, Gabriel Ewa Jonah, Emmanuel Chukwunonso, Ettano Blessing and Obidiche Michael Ifeanyi.

They were jailed on Thursday, April 7, 2022 based on their “guilty” pleas to one-count separate charge preferred against them by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

One of the charge reads: “That you, Ettano Blessing, sometime in 2022 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to obtain property and gain advantage for yourself, fraudulently presented yourself as Dylan Espana and V Musa Wenkosi, an American Bitcoin manager, to your victims on Facebook and Instagram and obtained the sum of Seven Hundred Dollars ($700) from one Luzuko Mguda and Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000.00) from your victims and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and (ii) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (b) (iv) of the same Act”.

Based on their pleas, prosecution counsel, Joshua Abolarin, prayed the court to convict them accordingly.

Delivering judgment, Justice Ojukwu convicted and sentenced the defendants as follows:

Jonah and Kingsley were sentenced to six months imprisonment each, with an option of fine of N700, 000.00 (Seven Hundred Thousand Naira only) each while Kenneth was given six months imprisonment with an option of fine of N800, 000.00(Eight Hundred Thousand Naira only).

Chukwunonso bagged six months imprisonment with an option of fine of N600,000.00 ( Six Hundred Thousand Naira only) while Blessing and Ifeanyi were sentenced to one year imprisonment each, with options to pay fines of N500,000.00 ( Five Hundred Thousand only) and N800,000.00( Eight Hundred Thousand Naira only) respectively.

The court ordered the convicts to sign undertakings of good behaviour and forfeit gadgets used in committing the crimes to the Federal government.

In a related development, the same Thursday, the EFCC arraigned Enyinnaya Donald Chidiebere before Justice Ojukwu on one -count charge bordering on impersonation.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

In view of his plea, Abolarin immediately prayed the court to fix a date for trial and remand the defendant at the Calabar Correctional Centre. However, defence counsel, Udo Ukeme Johnson prayed for a short adjournment to enable him make a formal bail application.

Justice Ojukwu adjourned the matter till May 11, 2022 for hearing of bail application and remanded the defendant in the Calabar Correctional Centre.

Troubles came for the convicts and Chidiebere, when they were arrested by operatives of the Uyo Command of the EFCC on March 31, 2022 in a sting operation within Calabar, Cross River State. They were arrested in connection with their internet-related criminal activities.

 


Media & Publicity

8 April, 2022