Two internet fraudsters, Ese Ekunme and Uyi Eric were on Thursday June 2, 2022 convicted and sentenced to prison by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.

The duo were arraigned by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on A separate one count charges of fraudulent impersonation and possession of proceeds of cybercrime.

Eric had in January 2022 impersonated one Tyler Lapay, an American woman on Instagram in his attempt to defraud unsuspecting victims while Ekunwe took possession of the sum of N3million which was proceeds of crime.

The charge against Eric reads: “that you, Uyi Eric (aka Tyler ) on the 21st day of January, 2022 at Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently personate the identity of Tyler Lapay, an American woman on Instagram, a social media platform with profile picture of the lady whose pictures you sent to Elizabeth Thomas with the intent to obtain money from the unsuspecting lady and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Cap 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria ( as applicable in Edo State) 1976”

The charge against Ekunwe reads: “that you, Ese Ekunwe sometime in 2021 at Wisdom Street, Off Egba Road, Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did take possession of the sum of Three Million Naira ( N3,000,000) knowing that same represent proceeds of Etinosa Eghaghe’s ( your nephew) criminal conduct to wit: Cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 17(b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( Establishment ) Act, 2004”.

Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges, prompting the prosecution counsel, K.U.Udus and K.Y. Bello to ask the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly. However counsel to the defendants, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants had become remorseful for their action

Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Eric to three years imprisonment or a fine of Three Hundred Thousand Naira while Ekunwe bagged three years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira as fine

Justice Ikponmwonba also ordered that a Lexus ES 330 recovered from Eric be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. Eric is also to forfeit an iPhone X to the Federal Government and undertake in writing to be of good behaviour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media & Publicity

June 6, 2022