Barristers & Solicitors
Court jails banker, eight others over internet fraud

A40-year-old banker, Andrew Nwadiashi and eight suspected internet fraudsters have been convicted and sentenced by an Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.

They were convicted by Justice M. Itsueli on Friday after they pleaded guilty to seperate charges brought against them by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The other convicts, according to a statement by the EFCC were Osawa Marvellous, Etinosa Ogieva, Erharruyi Osaigbovo, Isaac Godstime Eghosa, Obasohan Kelvin, Evans Jessa Mike, Timothy Odion and Festus Efe Iyengunmwena.

The commission said Nwadiashi was arrested following a petition by First Bank sometime in 2020.

As Head, Non-Financial Transaction at the Warri, Delta State branch of the bank, he allegedly disregarded banking policy and debited a customer’s account to the tune of N9,354,000.

During the investigation, the banker confessed to the crime. The eight other defendants were arrested following intelligence which linked them to internet fraud activities. They were subsequently arraigned on separate one-count charges bordering on stealing, retention of proceeds of illegal activities and unlawful possession of fraudulent documents.

Following their guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, I. M Elodi, IK Agwai,  K.Y. Bello and Ibrahim Faisal asked the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly. “Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Nwadiashi to two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000.

“The defendant had fully paid the aggregate sum N9, 654,000, being the principal sum and interest, in restitution to the victim of the crime.

“The court convicted and sentenced Marvellous, Odion, Ogieva and Iyengunmwena to three years imprisonment with an option of N300,000 fine.

“The duo of Osaigbovo and Mike were each sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of N200,000 fine. Eghosa and Kelvin, each bagged one-month imprisonment and a fine of N200,000.

“Justice Itsueli ordered that a Toyota Lexus ES 330;  Lexus E350, phone, laptops and the balance in the convicts’ bank accounts be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,’ said the EFCC