Barristers & Solicitors
Three Internet Fraudsters Bag Nine Years Jail Term in Edo

The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said it secured the conviction and sentencing of three internet fraudsters in Edo State.

In another development, operatives of  the Abuja Zonal Command of the  EFCC  arrested nine suspected internet fraudsters in a sting operation.

The convicts,  Osama Abraham Obasohan, Okunnuwa Moses and Osalenlen Celestine, were jailed by Justice M. Itsueli of the Edo State  High Court,   Benin City,     on Monday, August 29, 2022 after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge  bordering  on possession of  documents containing false pretence  and retention of  illegal proceeds of crime.

The charge against Osama Abraham Obasohan reads: “That you Osama Abraham Obasohan sometime between 29 June, 2022 in Edo State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did retain the sum of N1,913,005.81  knowing that same represent proceeds of your criminal conduct to wit; cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, ( Establishment ) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act”.

Upon arraignment, they all pleaded guilty to the charges  preferred against them by the EFCC.

Based on their pleas,  prosecution counsels:  Francis .A. Jirbo and K.Y. Bello,  prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

Justice Itsuele, thereafter, convicted and  sentenced Obasohan to five years imprisonment,  with an option of fine of N500,000;  Moses bagged one year imprisonment with an option of fine of N300, 000, while   Celestine bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of N200, 000.

Additionally,  the judge  ordered that the total balance found in the convicts’  bank accounts , as well as  phones, notably,  iPhone 7 plus, iphone 11 pro max,  iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 pro max,   being proceeds of crime,    be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The convicts began their journey to the correctional centre when they were arrested by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC for internet-

They were  investigated, prosecuted and eventually convicted.

Meanwhile, operatives of  the Abuja Zonal Command of the  EFCC  arrested nine suspected internet fraudsters in a sting operation.

The suspects,  Bassey Sunday Junior, Samson Zachariah, Ogonyi Jeremiah,  Sunday Martins,  Austin Yayison, Wilson Chinaza, Emmanuel Adeyi, Samuel Mark and Emmanuel Bassey, were arrested on Tuesday, August 30, 2022  at Voque Hotel in the Mararaba Area of Abuja for alleged involvement in cybercrimes.

Thirteen  phones, three laptops and a Harman/Kardon music box were recovered from them.

A statement by the commission said they will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.