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Five Internet Fraudsters Convicted and Sentenced in Benue State

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The Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State has handed down convictions and sentences to five individuals involved in internet fraud. Justices M.S. Abubakar and R.J. Egbe presided over the cases and delivered the verdicts, sending a strong message against cybercrime in the region.

The convicted individuals, namely Ibi Shedrach Suurshter, Onazi Moses Oche, Innocent Ochola, Teseer Mnenge, and Agbo Lawrence, were found guilty of various offenses related to internet fraud. Their convictions came after they pleaded guilty to separate one-count charges brought against them by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Among the charges, Onazi Moses Oche was accused of using an access device issued to another individual with the intent to defraud, resulting in an aggregate gain of N2,345,000.00. The charges were brought under the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act of 2015.

Upon their arraignment, all the convicts pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them in court. Following this, the prosecuting counsel, A.S. Idris, presented the facts of the cases and tendered incriminating documents as evidence. Subsequently, the court was prayed to sentence them accordingly.

After careful consideration, Justice M.S. Abubakar sentenced Suurshater to one year imprisonment with the option of a N400,000.00 fine. Oche received a similar sentence of one year imprisonment, with the option of a N600,000.00 fine. Ochola was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of N1,000,000.00, while Mnenge was sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of a N200,000.00 fine.

The fifth convict, Agbo, faced sentencing by Justice R.J. Egbe and was handed a one-year imprisonment term with an option of a N200,000.00 fine. Additionally, the judges ordered the forfeiture of all their phones, deemed as proceeds of the crime, to the government.

It is noteworthy that all the convicted individuals embarked on their journey to the Correctional Centre upon their arrests for internet-related offenses. They were subjected to individual investigations and subsequent prosecution, leading to their convictions in court.

The convictions and sentences handed down by the Federal High Court serve as a stern warning to individuals involved in internet fraud activities. The judiciary’s decisive action demonstrates its commitment to combating cybercrime and upholding the rule of law in Benue State.

Speaking on the verdicts, legal experts have lauded the judiciary for its swift and decisive action against cybercriminals. They emphasized the importance of deterring such criminal activities to safeguard the integrity of online transactions and protect unsuspecting victims from financial losses.

Furthermore, the convictions underscore the collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies, such as the EFCC, and the judiciary in combating cybercrime across the country. The successful prosecution of these cases reflects the dedication of these institutions to ensuring justice is served and perpetrators of cybercrime are held accountable for their actions.

In conclusion, the convictions and sentences handed down to the five internet fraudsters represent a significant milestone in the fight against cybercrime in Benue State. The judiciary’s firm stance sends a clear message that such illegal activities will not be tolerated, and perpetrators will face the full force of the law.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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