The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, on Tuesday November 22, 2022, secured the conviction of four internet fraudsters, Omosebi Ezekiel Timi, Sunday Boateng, Ibrahim Sani and Victor Madu Egbuchua before Justices A. T. Mohammed, S. I. Mark, and E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The offence runs contrary to section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.
They were arraigned on a separate count charge and pleaded “guilty” to their charges when they were read to them.
Timi’s charge reads: “That you, Omosebi Ezekiel Timi on or about 29th day of September, 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently represent yourself as one Evan Townsend from United States of America in your Facebook and other Social Media Account with 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 Section 22(2) (b) (iv) of the same Act”.
The charge against Boateng reads: “That you, Sunday Boateng (aka Richard) between January, 2021 to September, 2021, at Adesa Ughoton, in Warri, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently represented yourself as Richard Williams, a mobile phone vendor resident in the US on Whatsapp Business Account obtained gift card worth One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty US Dollars ($1, 850) from My Sissy Love, Catty Simmons and Hendy, American Citizens and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (ii) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act”.
Prosecution counsel, M. T. Iko, I. N. Nwosu, E. Abbiyesuku and K. W. Chukwuma-Eneh urged the courts to convict them in line with their pleas.
Justice Mark convicted and sentenced the duo of Timi and Sani to two years in the Correctional Service with an option of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000.00) fine for Timi , while Sani was given a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Likewise, Justice Mohammed convicted and sentenced Boateng to one year in the Correctional Service with Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00) as option of fine.
In the same vein, Justice Obile also convicted Egbuchua, sentencing him to three years in Correctional Service with Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000.00) as fine payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Judges also ordered that one iPhone 12, one blue iPhone 12 Smart phone, one iPhone 7, one touch light phone and one Lenovo laptop the convicts used in committing the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.