Crime

Benin Court Sentences 25 Internet Fraudsters to Jail

The duo of Justice Efe Ikponmwonba and M. Ituseli of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City have convicted and sentenced twenty-five (25) internet fraudsters for various jail terms.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the individuals involved were sentenced on Wednesday, 20 and Thursday, March 21, 2024 respectively.

The convicts include Joshua Osarumwense, Oziegbe Courage, Michael Osawowamen Enofe, Precious Ezomo, Favour Ezomo, Adetokunbor Oghamomwan, Amaize Victor Ohimah, Destiny Okpala, Emmanuel Benjamin and Williams Chinedu Onyeji.

Others are Michael Ugochukwu Davidson, Favour Victor, Aigbadon Nathaniel, Owas Palmer, Kelvin Aghator, Samuel Endurance, Emmanuel Ogiehor and Oseni Usman.

(Photo Credit: @officialEFCC on X)

Success Bashorun, Hassan Usman, Omoruyi Stanley, Omoruyi Osasu, Festus David Ofuomadega, Omokaro Junior Aisosa and Okolo Oghenenyerhovwo make up the rest of the convicts.

The law enforcement agency stated that they were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charges bordering on possession of fraudulent documents upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission.

“That you Favour Ezomo (m) on or about 14th March, 2024 in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 6 and 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.2006 and punishable under section 1(3)of same Act,” the charge against Favour Ezomo reads as revealed by EFCC.

The Commission also disclosed that all the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them, prompting prosecution counsel, F. Jirbo, I.K Agwai, A. A. Ibrahim and Salihu Ahmed to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

It was also revealed that the counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, claiming that they have become remorseful for their actions.

The trio of Oziegbe, Stanley and Davidson bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of ₦200,000.00 (two hundred thousand naira) each, while the duo of Ofuomadega and Oghenenyerhovwo got two years imprisonment or a fine of ₦200,000 (two hundred thousand naira) each.

Similarly, the other twenty (20) individuals were sentenced to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000.00 (one hundred thousand naira) each.

The judges ordered that the convicts forfeit their phones, balances in their various bank accounts being instruments and proceeds of crime and a Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 recovered from Ezomo to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

All the convicts were also asked to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour afterwards.

The convicts’ road to the correctional centre began following their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in computer-related fraud.

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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