The Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)has secured the conviction and sentencing of three internet fraudsters: Emmanuel James Olayi, Okadigbo Gabriel Nzubechukwu and Emmanuel Nnoli before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, sitting in Calabar, Cross River State.
They were convicted on Thursday, last week, after pleading guilty to one-count separate charges bordering on impersonation preferred against them by the EFCC.
One of the charges read: “That you, Emmanuel Nnoli “m” sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate Abdul Kareem on Badoo with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015 and punishable under the same Section.”
They pleaded guilty to the charges when they were read to them.
Based on their pleas, EFCC counsel, Joshua Abolarin, prayed the court to convict the defendants and sentence them accordingly.
However, defence counsel, Innocent Eze and Chinonso Nweke, prayed the court for leniency.
Ojukwu convicted and sentenced Olayi to one year imprisonment with an option of a fine of N300, 000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira), Nzubechukwu to one year imprisonment with an option of fine of N800, 000.00 (Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) and Nnoli six months’ imprisonment with an option of fine of N600, 000.00 (Six Hundred Thousand Naira).
The court also ordered them to forfeit all instruments used in committing the crime which include phones of different brands, one HP Probook 450 G6 and one HP 250 G7 Note to the Federal Government through the EFCC.
Nnoli was also ordered to restitute the sum of 80, 000 CFA to his victim and Nzubechukwu to restitute the sum of $400 (Four Hundred Dollars) to his victim.
According to the court, the payments of the said restitutions shall be their conditions for release from the correctional center if they wish to serve the time.
The convicts’ journey to the correctional centre started when they were arrested on March 31, 2022 in Calabar, by operatives of the Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC, for internet-related activities.
They were later prosecuted and convicted.