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Edo State High Court Sentences 25 Internet Fraudsters to Jail

Edo State High Court Sentences 25 Internet Fraudsters to Jail

The Edo State High Court has convicted and sentenced 25 individuals to various jail terms for their involvement in internet fraud. Justices Efe Ikponmwonba and M. Ituseli presided over the cases, which concluded on Wednesday and Thursday, March 21, 2024, at the court sitting in Benin City.

The convicts, whose identities were disclosed as Joshua Osarumwense, Oziegbe Courage, Michael Osawowamen Enofe, Precious Ezomo, Favour Ezomon, Adetokunbor Oghamomwan, Amaize Victor Ohimah, Destiny Okpala, Emmanuel Benjamin, Williams Chinedu Onyeji, Michael Ugochukwu Davidson, Favour Victor, Aigbadon Nathaniel, Owas Palmer, Kelvin Aghator, Samuel Endurance, Emmanuel Ogiehor, Oseni Usman, Success Bashorun, Hassan Usman, Omoruyi Stanley, Omoruyi Osasu, Festus David Ofuomadega, Omokaro Junior Aisosa, and Okolo Oghenenyerhovwo, were found guilty of possession of fraudulent documents.

The charges brought against the defendants stemmed from their possession of documents containing false pretenses, in violation of sections 6 and 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.2006. Upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), all defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges.

Prosecution counsel, F. Jirbo, I.K Agwai, A. A. Ibrahim, and Salihu Ahmed, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants appealed for leniency, highlighting their clients’ remorsefulness and willingness to reform.

Following deliberations, the judges handed down varying sentences to the convicted fraudsters. Oziegbe, Stanley, and Davidson received three years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) each. Ofuomadega and Oghenenyerhovwo were sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) each. The remaining 20 defendants were each sentenced to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each.

In addition to the jail terms, the judges ordered the convicts to forfeit their phones, balances in their bank accounts, and a Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 recovered from Ezomo to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The convicts were also required to undertake in writing to be of good behavior following their release.

The road to the Correctional Centre for the convicted fraudsters began with their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC. The arrests were made based on actionable intelligence regarding the suspects’ involvement in computer-related fraud activities.

The convictions and sentences handed down by the Edo State High Court underscore the commitment of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to combat cybercrime and uphold the rule of law. It sends a strong message to perpetrators of internet fraud that their actions will not go unpunished and serves as a deterrent to others considering engaging in similar criminal activities.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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