By Jayce Efezino.
Six internet fraudsters – Kelvin Eghosa Osadebawen, Akhere Jeffery, Akhabue Bright, Destiny Akhere, Erahon Emmanuel Imuentinyan and Ekhator Osamudiamen Favour – were on Monday, August 28, 2023 convicted and sentenced to prison by Justice M. Itsueli of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.
They were arraigned separately on one count charge of impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Their road to prison began following their arrest by operatives of the Commission based on actionable intelligence. During the investigation, Imuentinyan, 21, was discovered to have impersonated Gary Sinise, an American in order to defraud one Diane Quigley.
On his part, 23 -year-old Bright represented himself as Chang Wang in an attempt to defraud unsuspecting victims. The others were found to be in possession of fraudulent documents.
The charge against Akhere reads: “that you, Destiny Akhere (m) on or about the 22nd May, 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did have in your possession on your iPhone 12 Pro Max with IMEI 359871977443432 documents which you knew or ought to have known contained false pretences and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 and 8 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.
Upon arraignment, all the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges, prompting the prosecution counsel, Al-Amin Abdul Ibrahim, Ibrahim Faisal and Abdulazeez Bala-Ribah to asked the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first-time offenders.
Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Osadebawen, Bright, Akhere, Imuentinyan and Favour to one-month imprisonment with a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira as fine. Jeffrey was sentenced to three years imprisonment or a fine of N300,000.00.
In addition, they are to forfeit their phones and the balance in their bank accounts, being proceeds of crime, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.