The Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC),on Wednesday,last week, secured the conviction and sentencing of eight internet fraudsters before Justice Rosemary DugboOghoghorie of the Federal High Court, Calabar.
Sunday IfeanyiIheanacho, Solomon Wisdom Chiagozie, Maurice IngbeEbiale, IkechukwuNzebuchi Miracle, Ahmed Sunny, Awoyugno Femi Kolade, IkegbuIsidoreChiebuka and Uwaiwu Duke were convicted and sentenced to one-year imprisonment each after pleading guilty to charges bordering on criminal impersonation and obtaining by false pretense, contrary to the provisions of Section 22(2)(b)(i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.
As a result of their guilty pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Joshua Abolarin,prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants in line with Section 270 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
But the defence counsel, Koko Essien, Innocent Eze, E.B Eton, J.J Undiandeye and Victor James, all pleaded for leniency and urged the court to impose fines on the defendants, instead of imprisonment.
After listening to the arguments and pleas by counsel, Oghoghorie convicted and sentenced all eight defendants to one-year imprisonment each, with various options of fine.
The court also ordered that they restitute their victims.
While Ifeanyi, Wisdom, Miracle, Ebiale and Duke were given the option of N200,000 fine each; Ahmed, Kolade and Chiebuka were offered the option of N250,000 fine.
The defendants were ordered to restitute their victims of sums ranging from $500, N200, 000, $4,000, N200, 000 and $1,000.
The convicts were arrested on Tuesday March 1, 2022 during a sting operation at Parliamentary Extension, Calabar in Cross Rivers State.