Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, on Friday, February 17, 2023, convicted and sentenced three internet fraudsters, Onukwugha Favour, Lawrence David and Omoghan Destiny Igbinosa, to prison on separate one count charge of impersonation and obtaining by false pretence.
The charge against Igbinosa reads:”That you, OMOGHAN DESTINY IGBINOSA sometime between 2021 and 2022 at Benin, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the Identity of NINALOWO BOLANLE, a Nollywood Actor by fraudulently sending documents to one NEWON QUANON through the internet which documents you claim emanated from the said NINALOWO BOLANLE with the intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention, etc.) Act 2015 and punishable under section 22(2) (b) (IV) of the same Act”.
The charge against Favour reads: That you, ONUKWUGHA FAVOUR sometime between 2021 and 2022 at Benin, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the Identity of MARIAH_ 1812, a Citizen of United States of America by fraudulently sending documents to unsuspecting victims through the internet which documents you claim emanated from the said MARIAH_1812 with the intent to obtain money and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention etc.) Act 2015 and punishable under section 22(2) (b) (IV) of the same Act”.
Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charge. In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, I. M.Elodi prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. The defence counsel, A.J. Onwuanaje and Dickson Egberume pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying that the defendants have become remorseful for their actions.
Justice Abang convicted and sentenced Igbinosa to two years imprisonment or a fine of One Million Naira. The defendant is also to forfeit the sum of $2,235.00 and his mobile phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The duo of Favour and David bagged one year imprisonment each or a fine of N500,000 and N200,000 respectively . They are also to forfeit their phones to the Federal Government of Nigeria and to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.
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