Justices Ijeoma Ojukwu and Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, and Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, have convicted and sentenced five internet fraudsters to various jail terms.
The convicts, Mmabuchi Anthony Chinaemerem, John Bassey Akpan, EnejiMatthew Ngaji, Louis Samuel Akanimoh and Uchenna Ibekwe, were jailed on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 and Tuesday, October 4, 2022 respectively, for fraudulent impersonation and obtaining by false pretence.
While Chinaemerem, Akpan and Ngaji were convicted by Ojukwu, Akanimoh and Ibekwe were jailed by Okeke.
They were all convicted after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge when arraigned by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In view of their guilty pleas, EFCC counsel, S. I. Yaryasa, prayed the court to convict and sentence them as charged.
However, defence counsels, Cyprian Afahanam and M. I. Osimen, prayed the court for leniency in sentencing the defendants.
Ojukwu convicted and sentenced Chinaemerem and Akpan to six months’imprisonment each, with an option of fine of N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) each.
Ngaji was convicted and sentenced to five months’ imprisonment, with an option of fine of N500,000.
He was ordered to restitute the sum of $90(Ninety United States Dollars) to his victim through the EFCC.
All the three convicts forfeited all instruments used in committing their crimes to the Federal Government.
Additionally, they were ordered to sign an undertaking to be of good behaviourhenceforth.
Okeke convicted and sentenced Akanimoh and Ibekwe to two months and two years jail terms respectively, without an option of fine.
Ibekwe was ordered to restitute the sum of N1.2million(One Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira only) to his victims through the EFCC and Akanimoh to restitute $460(Four Hundred and Sixty United States Dollars) to his victims.
They also forfeited their phones to the government.
The convicts were arrested by operatives of the Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC for internet-related offences.
Some of them were found to be impersonating foreigners to defraud their victims.
They were subsequently prosecuted and convicted.