Justice S. I. Mark of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced an internet fraudster, Collins Williams Chinonyerem to three years in prison for impersonation, contrary to Section 22 (3) (a) (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prevention, Prohibition, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act

He was convicted after pleading ‘guilty’ upon an arraignment Thursday April 28, 2022, on one count charge by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the EFCC.

The count charge reads:

"That you, Collins Williams Chinonyerem on or about the 25th day of February, 2022 at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate one Horic, an American National, with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (3) (a) (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prevention, Prohibition, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act”.

In view of his guilty plea, prosecution counsel, C. Okorie, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly.

Counsel to the defendant, E. B. Ekong asked the court to temper justice with mercy stating that he is a first time offender with no previous criminal record.

Justice Mark convicted and sentenced the defendant to three years in the Correctional Service with an option of a fine of One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00) payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Judge also ordered that one Apple Laptop used in committing the offence be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, auctioned by the Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the proceeds paid into the EFCC Recovery Account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria. The convict is also to depose to an affidavit to be of good behaviour.

Chinonyerem's journey to the Correctional Service started when he was arrested in a sting operation by officers of EFCC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State for internet fraud activities.

Investigation shows that the convict created a Romeo account with the user name Doraliss, presented himself as Noah and used the same to chat with his unsuspecting victims.

 

 

Media & Publicity
29 April, 2022