In a major breakthrough for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Enugu Zonal Command successfully obtained convictions for 22 individuals involved in internet fraud.
The verdict was delivered by Justice F. Riman of the Federal High Court in Akwa, Anambra State.
The defendants faced charges of impersonation, and their convictions mark a significant step towards combating cybercrime in the region.
Impersonation Convictions: 22 Fraudsters Face Justice
The 22 convicts, including Emos Ozoemena Orjiobasi, Onodugo Oji, Chukwudi Usulor, Victor Ifesinachi Ozonwanji, Arinze Daniel Ani, Ogbodo Chinedu Johnbosco, Okonkwo Francis Chukwuebuka, Emmanuel Tochukwu Ezuma, Tochukwu Collins Ojiochie, David Charles Ani, Chibuzo Emmanuel Okoloeze, and Ebuka Thaddeus, were found guilty of impersonation.
Additionally, Okechukwu Emmanuel Onah, Nnamdi Moses Aniojoani, Ezike Kingsley Chinecherem, Thomas Joshua Ekene, Ojioche Miracle Nzesinachi, Nwose Chinedu Smartboy, Chinazaekpere Francis Ani, Nnamezie Emmanuel Okil, Rapheal Chukwuebuka Ogbodo, and Eneh Chimaobi Christopher also faced convictions for their involvement in the criminal activities.
Charges and Guilty Pleas: Impersonating White Lady for Financial Gain
Emos Ozoemena Orjiobasi, one of the defendants, faced the charge of impersonation by presenting himself as Inaya Zainab Zara, a white lady, on his Facebook social media account.
By doing so, he intended to deceive others into providing him with money through false pretenses. The offense committed by Orjiobasi falls under Section 22(3) (a) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act of 2015, and is punishable under Section 22(4) of the same Act.
All 22 defendants pleaded guilty when the charges were presented to them.
Sentencing and Fines: One-Year Imprisonment with Monetary Penalties
Upon considering their guilty pleas, the prosecuting counsel requested that the court impose appropriate convictions and sentences.
Consequently, the court convicted all 22 defendants and sentenced them to one year of imprisonment.
However, they were given the option to pay a fine of N150,000.00 each, except for Chibuzo Emmanuel Okoloeze, who was granted the option to pay a fine of N100,000.