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Court Jails 12 For Internet Fraud in Calabar

The Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has secured the conviction and sentence of twelve (12) internet fraudsters before Justices Ijeoma Ojukwu and Rosemary Oghoghorie of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State.

While Justice Ojukwu convicted and sentenced 11, namely: Nwaeke Vitalis Ndubisi, Kingsley Goodnews, Inyang Victor, Ekere-Obong Adams, Usang Enang, Ogudu James, Arinze Nelly, David Dede, Ibeawuchi Okwukwechukwu, Prince Samuel  Ukpai and Ekpo Peter, Justice Oghoghorie convicted and sentenced Joshua  Akpabio.

All the convicts were prosecuted on two-count charges bordering on criminal impersonation on social media platforms with intent to defraud unsuspecting members of the society, barring Akpabio, Ukpai and Peter who faced one-count charges, respectively.

The charge against Ndubuisi reads: “That  you, NWAEKE VITALIS NDUBUISI “M” sometime in August 2023, in Nigeria  within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did fraudulently  present yourself as Cytal Barton to unsuspecting victims on the social  media platform; Facebook with intent to gain advantage for yourself did  take possession of the sum of N150,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand  Naira) knowing that the money forms part of the proceed of an unlawful  act to wit; impersonation thereby committed an offence contrary to  Section 18 (2) (d) of the Money Launder (Prohibition and Prevention)  Act, 2022 and punishable under Section 18 (3) of the same Act.”

They all pleaded guilty to their charges when they were read to them, following which prosecution counsel Joshua Abolarin and Mahmud Khamis prayed the  courts to convict and sentence them accordingly, while defence counsel, Tom Udeme, Francis Ezike, Innocent Eze and Henry Iyipiyayo prayed the courts for leniency on the ground that the defendants were first-time offenders.

After listening to the arguments of both the prosecution and defence counsel, Justice Ojukwu handed Ndubisi, Goodnews, Victor, Adams, Enang, James, Nelly, Dede and Okwukwechukwu six six-month jail term on each of their two-count charges which is to run concurrently and six months jail term to Peter and Ukpai on their one-count charge, while Akpabio bagged a one-year jail term, with the option to pay a N1 million fine from  Justice Oghoghorie.

In addition to their jail terms, Adams restituted the sum of $100, Enang $200 and Dede $450 to their victims.

The convicts were arrested at different locations in Cross River and Akwa Ibom  States for internet offences.

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