A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has convicted and sentenced three internet fraudsters to different jail terms for offences bordering on criminal impersonation, internet fraud and possession of fraudulent documents.
This was contained in a statement by the Spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Dele Oyewale, on Monday.
The statement noted that the convicts, Abraham Itoro Sunday, Ezea Chidera Charles and Udoh Christopher Gabriel were convicted by Justice Chigozie Sergius Onah upon their arraignment by the Uyo Zonal Command of EFCC, on one-count separate charge bordering on cybercrimes.
The charge sheet against the suspect’s rea, “That you Abraham Itoro Sunday ‘ M’ sometime in 2023 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did fraudulently impersonate Brian O’ Noel on Facebook with the intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2)(b)(I) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, prevention) Act 2015 and punishable under the same section”. The charge read.
The suspects pleaded guilty to all the charges.
Based on their pleas, Prosecution counsels, Enobong Ubokudom and Farida Bukar prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Onah convicted and sentenced Sunday and Charles to six months imprisonment each with an option of a fine of N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira only), while Gabriel bagged five months jail term with an option of a fine of N150,000.00(One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only).
The court also ordered that the three smartphones used by the convicts to perpetrate the crimes be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The statement noted that “the convicts started their journey to the Correctional Centre when they were arrested by operatives of the Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC on November 22, 2023, at different locations in Afaha Atai, in Iko Eket Akwa Ibom State.
“Investigation showed that all the convicts impersonated foreigners by using their identities to defraud their victims. While Charles fraudulently portrayed himself as ‘Molina Urovsky’ on Facebook, Sunday portrayed himself as Brian O’niel and Gabriel presented himself as Alexander Douglas on Instagram.”