Justices Ijeoma Ojukwu and Rosemary Oghoghorie of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, have convicted and sentenced six Internet fraudsters to various terms of imprisonment.
The convicts: Ojiako David Enyinna, Heziekiah Ezekiel Eno, Onyedika Ugochukwu Enemchukwu, Adinkwu Destiny Chukwudifu, God’s Favour Bassey Essi and Ebenezer Emmanuel Peter, were jailed on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.
They were convicted after pleading guilty to different charges bordering on obtaining by false pretence and criminal impersonation.
While Enemchukwu and Peter were arraigned on separate two-count charges, Enyinna, Eno, Chukwudifu and Essi were arraigned on separate one-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence and criminal impersonation.
One of the charge against Peter reads: “That you, Ebenezer Emmanuel Peter “M” sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did take possession and control of $200 (Two Hundred Dollars) intentionally, knowing that the money formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: obtaining money by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act and punishable under Section 18 (3) of the same Act”.
They all pleaded guilty when the separate charges were read to them.
In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel; S. S. Aribido and J.E.I Ogbuli prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.
However, defence counsel: Daniel G. Daniel, Koko Essien, Innocent Eze and Francis Ezike prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.
Justice Oghoghorie sentenced Peter to one year imprisonment on each of the two count charge, to run concurrently, or pay a fine of N500,000.00( Five Hundred Thousand Naira only). Chukwudifu and Essi bagged one year imprisonment each with the option of a fine of N500,000.00.
Enemchukwu, Enyinna and Eno were convicted and sentenced by Justice Ojukwu as follows: Enemchukwu: 6 months imprisonment on each count to run concurrently, with an option of fine of N500,000.00; Enyinna and Eno: 6 months imprisonment each with the option of fine of N500,000.00 and N200,000.00 ( Two Hundred Thousand Naira) respectively.
Enemchukwu and Peter were ordered to pay the sums of $400 and $200 respectively in restitution to their victims, through the Commission. While all items used in committing the crimes were forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
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