EFCC secures conviction of four internet fraudsters in Port Harcourt

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of four internet fraudsters on separate charges in Port Harcourt.

According to the statement released on Wednesday by the commission, the convicted fraudsters were arraigned before Justices P. M. Ayua and S.I Mark of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The four internet fraudsters are: Akpolabe Ovie, Agbor Saviour Liberty, Aso Welewa Gideon Apata and Tobukeme Precious Junior.


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The Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the EFCC arraigned them on separate one count charge of impersonation, contrary to Section 22 (2) b (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (iv) of the same Act.

The charge against Liberty reads: “That you, Agbor Saviour Liberty sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently represented one Kenny Chesney with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) b (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (iv) of the same Act.”

The charge against Ovie reads: “That you, Akpolabe Ovie on or about 29th day of September 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently represent yourself as one Eric in your Hangout and email ericharrison7892 with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) b (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (iv) of the same Act.”

The four suspects pleaded guilty to their respective charges.

Accordingly, the prosecution counsel, F. C. Obinwa and I. N. Nwosu urged the court to convict them.

Counsel to the defendants, Ransome Akweda, Paula Abudu, Ikechukwu Egwu Ugorji and L. Davies asked the court to temper justice with mercy, stating that the defendants were first time offenders.






     

     

    “Apata, Junior and Ovie were convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment each with option of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000.00) fine for Apata and Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000.00) for the others.

    “Liberty was sentenced to three years with Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300, 000.00) as fine payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement said.

    The judges also ordered that the phones and laptops used in committing the crimes be forfeited to the Federal Government.

    The convicts were also mandated to depose to an affidavit of good behavior before the court.

    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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