The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured the conviction of eight internet fraudsters on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
The criminals were sentenced by Justice Rosemary Dugbo Oghoghorie of the Federal High Court, Calabar.
Sunday Ifeanyi Iheanacho, Solomon Wisdom Chiagozie, Maurice Ingbe Ebiale, Ikechukwu Nzebuchi Miracle, Ahmed Sunny, Awoyugno Femi Kolade, Ikegbu Isidore Chiebuka, and Uwaiwu Duke were convicted and sentenced to one-year imprisonment each after pleading guilty to charges bordering on criminal impersonation and obtaining by false pretense, contrary to the provisions of Section 22(2)(b)(i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.
As a result of their guilty pleas, the prosecuting counsel Joshua .O. Abolarin prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants in line with Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
But the defence counsel, Koko Essien, Innocent .O.Eze, E.B.Eton, J.J.Undiandeye and Victor James pleaded for leniency and urged the court to impose fines on the defendants, instead of imprisonment.
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After listening to the arguments and pleas by counsel, Justice Oghoghorie convicted and sentenced all eight defendants to one-year imprisonment each, with various options of fine.
The court also ordered that they restitute their victims.
While Ifeanyi, Wisdom, Miracle, Ebiale and Duke were given the option of N200,000 fine each; Ahmed, Kolade and Chiebuka were offered the option of N250,000 fine. The defendant were ordered to restitute their victims of sums ranging from $500, N200, 000, $4,000, N200, 000 and $1,000.
The convicts were arrested on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, during a sting operation at Parliamentary Extension, Calabar in Cross Rivers State.