Court Sends Nine Internet Fraudsters to Jail in Benin City

Nine internet fraudsters were on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 23 & 24,  2024 convicted and sentenced to various jail terms by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.

The convicts are Andrew Ayakanmi Joshua, Obazee Marvellous, Osiobe Joshua, Osariemen Favour, Edosa Ovbokhan, Emmanuel Eramiokhare, Cyril Osagie, Stephen Okiosi Osaiwe and Muhammed Mudesiru Hussein

They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, possession of fraudulent documents, and retention of proceeds of crime upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The charge against Eramiokhare reads: “That you Emmanuel Eiramiokhae (m) sometime between 1st January 1

2019 and 4th April, 2024 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did retain the aggregate sum of N97,392,707.75 (Ninety Seven Million, Three Hundred and Ninety-two thousand, Seven Hundred and Seven Naira, Seventy-five kobo) knowing that same represent proceeds of Godstime (your chairman) criminal conduct to wit: cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 (a) Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act.

All the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them in court, prompting the prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Faisal and Salihu Ahmed, to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.  However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.

Justice Ikponmwonba on Tuesday, April 22, 2024, sentenced the trio of Eramiokhae, Joshua and Favour to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each while the duo of Ayakanmi Joshua and Obazee Marvellous bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000  each. On Wednesday, April 23, 2024, the judge convicted and sentenced Ovbokhan to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000,  Hussein bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 while the duo of Osaiwe and Osagie were sentenced to community service.

The judges ordered the convicts to forfeit their phones, laptops, and balances in their various bank accounts, being instruments and proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria. All the convicts are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.

The convicts’ road to the Correctional Centre began for the convicts following their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in computer-related fraud. They were charged to court and convicted.


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