41 internet fraudsters jailed in Anambra

A Federal High Court sitting in Onitsha, Anambra State, presided over by Justices S. M. Shuaibu and Hauwa Inuwa, has convicted and sentenced 41 internet fraudsters to one-year imprisonment, each.

The convicts were jailed after they pleaded guilty to one-count separate charges bordering on obtaining by false pretence, possession of fraudulent documents, impersonation and aiding in committing an offence upon arraignment by the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The convicts are Douglas James, Raphael Chikezie Uwakwe, Paul Chidera Kalu, Chisom Linus, Chiemezie Nweke, Eze Ugochukwu Stanley, Ndubuisi Nwafor, Ifeanyi  Samuel, Nwosu Chukwuemeka, Madueke Emmanuel, Edozie Daniel Timothy, Ahmed Fredrick Lukman, Godwin Chukwuemelie Julius, Okafor Vincent Chiemerie, Ugochukwu Raphael Ena, Chukwuemeka Franklin Obiji, Chimaobi Emmanuel Gabriel, Abonyi Chibuike Jude, Chiemelie Igboekwuna Christian and Okafor Chukwuma Desmaond.

Others include Jezreel Arihiakamah Chinwendu, Paul Okereke Chiadi, Peter Chidera Iwu, Onyeji Victor Chinecherem, Tochukwu Eze Solomon, Fred Chidera Okoye, Ezema Chiemerie Stanley, Emeka Ogbonna Daniel, Obinna Stanley Okafor, Udochukwu Peter Nnaewezie, Ebuka Johnson Olu, Okochi Ebuka Stanley, Promise Ogbodo Echezona, Ebuka Chukwu Joshua, Chisom Henry Udeagwueze, Ihechi Okechukwu Bright, Chibueze Maxwell Stephen, Ebuka Lucky Nwankwo, Isah Chinonso Peter, Ifeanyi Oguoke Kingsley and Chinonso Eze Innocent.

One of the charges read: “That you, Uwakwe Chikezie Raphael sometime in 2024 in Onitsha, Anambra State within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in Nigeria,  impersonated the identity of Everly Ruby, a female foreigner through a Google account, via your iphone X with the intent to obtain money from unsuspecting foreign nationals and to gain advantage of yourself and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (3) (a) (b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act”.

All the defendants pleaded “guilty” to the charges. Michael Ikechukwu Ani, counsel to the EFCC prayed the court to convict and sentence them.

However,  the defence counsel, Wisdom Ogbonna, Bernard Okeke, James Nwatarali and Arinze Anyigo pleaded the court for leniency and to temper justice with mercy in sentencing their clients, adding that they have shown enough remorse for their actions.

Justice Inuwa convicted and sentenced 27 of the convicts while the rest 14 were convicted later. Those convicted on May 3 are Chiadi, Samuel, Chinecherem, Timothy, Stanley, Bright, Iwu, Lukman, Nweke, Chukwuemeka, Okafor, Stephen, Chiemerie and Christian to one-year imprisonment each with an option of fine of N100,000.

The Justices also ordered that the convicts should be involved in Community Service in line with Section 462 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and ordered that items recovered from them, which include their mobile phones and laptops be auctioned through the EFCC and proceeds paid into the Treasury Single Account(TSA).

All the convicts bagged their imprisonment when they were arrested for their involvement in internet fraud.

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