The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of six internet fraudsters and one illegal dealer in petroleum products before Justice F. A. Olubanjo of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State.
The convicts are Ube Oghenetega Peace, Aigbe Samson Osemuyi Egharevba, Osegunwaro Richard Ehigie, Umoru Destiny, Amala Lucky Okoro and two siblings Uzoeghelugo Osita and Cyril Chukwneta Osita.
The internet fraudsters were arraigned separately on a one-count charge of impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents while Oghenetega Peace was arraigned on a one-count charge of aiding one Jabin Godspower Okpako (a convict ) who is currently serving jail term in the United States of America to carry out his criminal activities.
“That you Osagunwaro Richard Ehigie (m) sometime between 2020 and 12th September 2021 at Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud sent electronic message which materially misrepresent your identity to Shuk Wait Cheng, a lady in the United States of America which she relied on and suffered financial loss in the sum of $19,000,00 and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 14(2) of the Cybercrime ( Prohibition Prevention, Etc) Act 2015.”the charge against. Ehigie read.
“That you Ube Oghenetega Peace sometime between 6th August and April 2019 at Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did aid one Janine Godspower Opkako (a convict) serving 3 years jail term in the United States of America to fraudulently impersonate other persons abroad with intent to obtain the aggregate sum of $781,853.00 and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 27(1)(b) of the Cybercrime ( Prohibition Prevention Etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section (22)(2()(b)(IV) of same Act.”the charge against Oghenetega Peace read.
Okoro was arraigned on one count charge of illegal dealings in petroleum products.
“That you Amala Lucky Okoro (m) on or about 10th July, 2021 in Delta state within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court deal in petroleum products to wit: 60,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) which is not of a quality expected of the product and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 1(18)(a)(ii) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria ( Revised edition) 2004”.the charge read.
Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to the respective charge prompting the prosecution counsel, F.O. Jirbo to urge the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Justice Olubanjo convicted and sentenced Peace to five years imprisonment with an option of N5 million as a fine while the Osita brothers bagged five years imprisonment each with an option of a N300,000 fine.
The trio of Egharevbe, Ehigie and Okoro were each sentenced to five years imprisonment with an option of N100,000 as a fine, while Destiny bagged five years imprisonment with an option of a N500,000.
Justice Olubanjo ruled that items recovered as proceeds of crime which include a car (Lexus ES 330 model), the aggregate sum of 11, 390,583.39, 60,000 litres of petroleum product found in the truck and phones be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.