The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, on Monday March 8, 2021, secured the conviction and sentencing of one Mbewu Chijioke Precious, a 28-year old medical practitioner before Justice Simon Amobeda of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State.
Precious was jailed alongside eight others: Chikezie Ogochukwu Michael, Victor Chijioke, Johnbosco Chidiebere, Kenneth Williams, Anthony Joshua Tobechukwu, Mmesoma Oparanozie, Nwosu Emmanuel and Uchechukwu Divine.
The convicts were arrested on February 17, 2021 at Umuguma area of ‘World Bank, in Owerri, Imo state following a petition by a concerned Nigerian on their illicit activities.
During questioning, the convicts confessed to the crime.
They all pleaded guilty to separate one-count charge bordering on impersonation, obtaining by false pretence and fraud preferred against them by the EFCC.
In view of their pleas, Segun Akinrinlade and Joshua Abolarin, the prosecuting counsel reviewed the facts of the case and urged the court to convict them accordingly.
The defence counsel, Innocent Eze and C. N. Nweke Junior prayed the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first time offenders and had shown remorse.
Justice Amobeda, while condemning the rising incidence of cybercrime amongst youths in the region, convicted and sentenced them as follows; Mbewu, Michael and Joshua were sentenced to 6 months imprisonment each with an option of fine of N50,000.00 each; while Chijioke, Johnbosco and Divine were sentenced to 3 months imprisonment each with an option of fine of N50,000.00 each. Oparanozie was given 3 months imprisonment with an option of fine of N20,000.00 while Nwosu bagged 6 months imprisonment with an option of fine of N200,000.00. Williams was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment with an option of fine of N10,000.00.
The Court also ordered that the convicts forfeit all instruments used in committing the crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Similarly, on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 the same Court convicted and sentenced five internet fraudsters popularly known as “yahoo boys” on a separate one-count charge bordering on impersonation, obtaining by false pretence and fraud.
The convicts who were also arrested in Imo state by Operatives of the Uyo Zonal Office of the Commission are, Ibe Chukwuebuka Osmond, Bassey Kingsley, Chukwuebuka Cyprian, Iroadinma Chibuike Michael and Henry Mezie Onwuesi.
They were also arrested in Imo state by Operatives of the Uyo Zonal Office of the Commission.
The Court sentenced them as follows: Ibe, Kingsley and Cyprian were each sentenced to 3 months imprisonment with an option of N50,000.00 fine each; While Iroadinma was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment with an option of N250,000.00 fine.
Onwuesi bagged 3 months imprisonment with an option of fine of N100,000.00.