On Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) reported that three Internet fraudsters have been sentenced to prison on distinct single-count charges of impersonation and obtaining under false pretense.
Onukwugha Favour, Lawrence David, and Omoghan Destiny Igbinosa were found guilty and sentenced on Friday by Federal High Court Justice Okon Abang in Warri, Delta State, according to a statement released by the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.
According to the charge filed against Igbinosa, “That you, OMOGHAN DESTINY IGBINOSA sometime between 2021 and 2022 at Benin, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the Identity of NINALOWO BOLANLE, a Nollywood Actor by fraudulently sending documents to one NEWON QUANON through the internet which documents you claim emanated from the said NINALOWO BOLANLE with the intent to gain Act of 2015 and punishable under the same Act’s section 22(2)(b)(IV).
The charge against Favour reads as follows: That you, ONUKWUGHA FAVOUR, committed an offense against section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) sometime between 2021 and 2022 at Benin, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently impersonated the Identity of MARIAH_1812, a Citizen of the United States of America, by fraudulently sending documents to unsuspecting victims through the internet, which documents you claim emanated Act of 2015 and punishable under the same Act’s section 22(2)(b)(IV).
Uwujaren stated that the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges at arraignment, and the prosecution counsel, I.M. Elodi, requested a conviction and appropriate sentence from the court.
According to reports, the defense attorneys, Dickson Egberume and A.J. Onwuanaje, pleaded with the judge to balance justice with mercy, stating that the defendants had become remorseful for their actions.
Igbinosa was found guilty and given a two-year prison term or a one million naira fine by Justice Abang. Additionally, the defendant must forfeit his mobile phone and $2,235.00 to the Nigerian Federal Government.
Favour and David each received a sentence of one year in prison or a fine of N500,000 and N200,000, respectively. The statement continued, “They are also to forfeit their phones to the Federal Government of Nigeria and to undertake in writing to be of good conduct thereafter.”