Six internet fraudsters – Napoleon Efe Miracle, Efetobore Prosper Eghagha, Jephthah Godbless Azino, Akiefe Desmond, Chukwuyenum Kenneth Ifeakachukwu and Efetayobor Ochuko – were on Monday September 25 convicted and sentenced to various jail terms by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.
The convicts were arraigned separately on one count charge of impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Their road to prison began following their arrest by operatives of the Commission based actionable intelligence on the activities of alleged fraudsters in Egbiki and Oputo Communities, Ovwian, Udu Local Government, Area of Delta State.
One of the charges read: “that you Chukwuyenum Kenneth Ifeakachukwu on or about 8th day of September, 2023 in Benin City Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 6 and 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.2006 and punishable under section 1(3)of same Act”.
Upon arraignment the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges prompting the prosecution counsel, F.A. Jirbo to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, the defence counsel pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they were first-time offenders who have become remorseful for their actions.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Ifeakachukwu, Miracle, Eghagha, Azino and Ochuko to three years imprisonment with an option of Five Hundred Thousand Naira each, while Desmond was sentenced to three years imprisonment or a fine of Three Hundred Thousand Naira.
In addition, the judge ordered the convicts to forfeit a Range Rover Evogue 2013 model SUV, Toyota Venza 2010 model car, one Lexus RX350 2010 model car and mobile phones to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The total balance in Desmond Akiefe’s bank account, being proceeds of crime, is also forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.