Justice A.O. Musa of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Bwari, on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 convicted five Abuja-based internet fraudsters to different jail terms. They were prosecuted by Abuja Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The first set of the convicts comprised, Asiriuwa Jimon (alias Robin Anthony), Ayo Balogun Richard (alias Jessca Betty) and Nwegbediegwu Chekwubechukwu Josephat.
Jimon was found to have posed as one Robin Anthony, a male Caucasian, who used a fictitious WeChat ID, robin77tony to induce one Miss Xiao Hui to deliver to him the sum of $7,000.
Richard on his part used a fictitious Instagram account in the name of jesscabetty and pretending to be in a romantic relationship with one M. Carl Ferguson, to obtain the sum of $2,500.
While Josephat used a fake gmail account, [email protected] to obtain the sum of $3,900 under the pretext of investing in crypto-currency.
They pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them, prompting prosecuting counsel, Mariya Ujudud Shariff to ask the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Justice Musa convicted and sentenced them to six months imprisonment each, with N50,000 option of fine.
In addition to making restitution to their victims, the judge further ordered that the proceeds of their crime, be forfeited to the federal government. Jimon forfeited his Lexus Jeep RX 350, a plot of land at Upper Idogbo Community, Ikpoba Okha, LGA, Edo State, his iPhone 6 and two laptops .
Richard forfeited his iphone X Max and while Josephat forfeited all his phones to the federal government.
In another matter, the judge also convicted one Oyewumi Adewale, who goes by the alias “Holydove.” He was prosecuted by the Abuja Zonal Office EFCC for cheating and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N750,000 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) from one Owila, an offence that is contrary to Section 320(b) of the Penal Code Act and punishable under Section 322 of the same Act.
The charge against the convict reads: “That you Oyewumi Adewale sometime in 2018, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court committed the offence of cheating by fraudulently obtaining from Owila the total sum of Seven Hundred And Fifty Thousand Naira only, as fee for converting itunes and Amazon cards into bitcoin which you know to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(b) of the Panel Code Act and punishable under Section 322 of the same Act.”
He pleaded guilty to the charge, following which prosecution counsel, S.N. Roberts told the court that the defendant and his lawyer, Adaji Abel have entered into a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution and urged the court to adopt the agreement and sentence the him accordingly.
Justice Musa convicted and sentenced him, accordingly.
Similarly, the judge convicted one Victory Ubasonye who goes by the alias “Paul Thomas.” He was arraigned and prosecuted by the Abuja Zonal Office of the Commission on a two-count charge bordering on cheating and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $6,000.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Victory Obasonye, sometimes in 2018 and 2019, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court committed the offence of cheating by fraudulently obtaining from Crystal the sum of $5,000 U S dollars as flight ticket fee in the guise that you are coming to the United States to see her and that you are in a romantic relationship with her, a fact which you know to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(b) of the Panel Code Act and punishable under Section 322 of the same Act.”
He pleaded guilty to the charges, following which prosecuting counsel told the court that the defence counsel and the defendant had entered into a plea bargain agreement with the EFCC and urged the court to adopt the agreement.
The defence counsel, O.J. Ojukwu, however, urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
Justice Musa, convicted Obasonye according to the terms of the plea bargain and sentenced him to six months in prison with N100,000 option of fine.
Aside the sentence, the convict forfeited the proceeds of the crime, which included two phones and wrote an Access Bank Cheque of N540,000 in favour of EFCC Recovery Account for restitution to his victim.