The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of three members of an internet fraud gang at the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State.
Two of the convicts, Prince Henry Ofeyi and Afatakpa David were convicted and sentenced by Justice P. I. Ajoku on Wednesday April 2 while the third convict, David Abumhere was convicted and sentenced on Thursday April 3, by the same judge.
Ofeyi and Afatakpa were prosecuited by the EFCC on one count of internet fraud each.
Ofeyi was said to have on October 5, 2017 falsely represented himself to be one Dexter Smith, a false identity he used in defrauding his victims.
The charge against him reads: “that you Prince Henry Ofeyi at Benin within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court with intent to defraud falsely represented yourself to be Dexter Smith, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 484 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, C39, 2004 and punishable under same Act.”
For Afatakpa, he was alleged to have represented himself as Vin Diesel, an American Movie Star on social media, an identity he used to defraud his victims.
The charge against him reads:” that you Afatakpa D.Tageme on or about September 9, 2017 at Benin within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court with intent to defraud on Instagram social media network falsely represented yourself to be Vin Diesel, an American Movie Star and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 484 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, C39,2004 and punishable under same Act”.
Upon arraignment, the duo pleaded guilty prompting the prosecution counsel, Aso Larry Peters to ask the court to convict the accused persons accordingly. He also told the court that the EFCC recovered the sum of Four Hundred Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Naira(N400,590.00) and a Toyota Corolla Saloon car from Ofeyi, while the sum of Two Hundred Thousand ,Three Hundred and Forty Two Naira, Ninety Nine Kobo (N200,342.99) was recovered from Akatakpa. D.Tageme .
The defence counsel Moses Oriazowan pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy saying the accused persons were remorseful and have promised never to go back to such despicable act.
After listening to both counsel, Justice Ajoku sentenced the accused persons to one month imprisonment each and ordered that the proceeds of crime be forfeited to the Federal Government so that their victims can be restituted.
On Thursday April, 3, 2018, the EFCC secured the conviction of David Abumhenre on one count of internet fraud. The convict was sentenced to one month imprisonment by Justice Ajoku after pleading guilty to the charge. The convict is to forfeit the sum of N3.5million recovered from him to the Federal Government. Abumhere was said to have falsely represented himself as Tom Hanks, an American Movie Star, an identity he used to defraud his victims.