Court jails five internet fraudsters in Port Harcourt

FIVE Internet fraudsters have been convicted and sentenced to various jail terms for cybercrime and impersonation in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Justice P. M. Ayua of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt sentenced them on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

The convicted fraudsters are Godwin Egwenike Ifeanyi, Donatus Peter Uche, Peculia Ikechukwu, Chibueke Aguta Basil and Gift Kalu.

According to a statement released by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on Friday, October 21, the men were jailed for impersonation and obtaining money by false pretence, which was contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

The commission stated that the accused persons were convicted after pleading guilty to separate charges preferred against them by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the EFCC.

The charge against Ifeanyi read, “That you, Godwin Egwenike Ifeanyi, sometime in June 2022 at the Choba axis of Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently obtained from one Merryl Carter the sum of two hundred Australian dollars ($200) under the false pretence that you are a white American Crypto trader, which pretence you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”

Another convicted fraudster, Uche, was charged with the intent to obtain gift cards valued at $4,500 from one Jazmin Cisneros, a female American in Port Harcourt.

According to the statement, Uche planned to perpetrate this act through his Instagram google chats with the user name, Suga, under the false pretence of being a Korean celebrity.

The prosecution counsel, A. Chukwueggu and I. N. Nwozu, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.

“Justice Ayua convicted and sentenced the defendants to two years in prison with an option of N100,000 as fine.



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    “The judge also convicted and sentenced Basil to one year in the Correctional Service, with N100,000 as fine option,” the EFCC statement read.

    Ikechukwu and Kalu were convicted and sentenced to two years in the Correctional Service, or pay N200,000 as fine.

    The judge also ordered that the phones used to commit the crime be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    He directed that the EFCC should sell the phones via public auction and the proceeds be paid into the agency’s Recovery Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

     

     

     

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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