The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos office, has secured the conviction of four internet fraudsters before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
The convicts; Adeoye Oriyomi, Onabule Adedokun Kenny, Osei Amankwa Isaac and Sodeindene Oluwatosin, who were arraigned on one count separate charges bordering on possession of fraudulent documents pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against them by the EFCC.
The anti-graft spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said this in a statement in Abuja.
The charges read: “That you Adeoye Oriyomi on or about the 30th day of July, 2019 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud had in your possession a document titled “Google Account” wherein you represented yourself as Katherine Peters (a white female) which representation you knew or ought to have known to be false.
“That you Onabule Adedokun Kenny on or about the 30th day of July, 2019 in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud had in your possession a document titled “My Love” where you represented yourself as Tama Jones (a white female) which representation you knew or ought to have known to be false.
“That you Onabule Adedokun Kenny sometime in July, 2019 in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division had in your possession a document dated 9th July, 2019 wherein you falsely represented yourself as a white female, Evelyn Barker, to Dean Wohlgemuth when you ought to know having regard to the circumstances of the case that the document contains the false pretence.
“That you Sodeindene Oluwatosin on or about the 13th day of February, 2019 in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud had in your possession an email wherein you represented yourself as “Richard Davis” an American citizen, which representation you ought to have known to be false.”
Based on their pleas, the prosecution counsel, E.S. Okon reportedly informed the court that the convicts willingly entered into a ‘plea bargain agreement’ with the Commission.
The fact of the cases were also reportedly reviewed wherein the convicts made extra-judicial statements confessing to committing the crimes.
Items recovered from the convicts which include a car, five mobile phones, and four laptops were also highlighted by the prosecutor.
Okon, therefore, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendants according to the plea bargain agreements entered into by them.
However, Counsel to the convicts, Z.S Makinde and Ikhide Daniels pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they were first-time offenders and that they are remorseful about the crime committed.
In his ruling, Justice Oshodi, however, convicted the defendants but gave them an ‘option of fine’ of N200, 000 each, which must be paid within sixty days from the day of judgment.
He also ordered that the convicts must undertake a 6-month community service at Old People’s Home, Yaba, Lagos and that there must be monthly report from the community service unit to the court as to ensure proper supervision.
Further, the judge ordered that the EFCC must ensure the service was carried out and must also file and serve the court with a report on the last Friday of every month for the duration of six months.
It, however, gathered that all items recovered from the convicts were forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Oshodi, however, added in his ruling that the convicts shall be imprisoned for a term of one year if the fine is not paid within sixty days and that the term shall commence from the day of default.