June 21, 2024

Court sentences three Internet fraudsters to nine years in prison in Benin City


Glory Ebomah

The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction and sentencing of three internet fraudsters.

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 a 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 One Million Nine Hundred and Thirteen Thousand, Five Naira Eighty One Kobo (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 a fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira). Moses bagged one-year imprisonment with an option of a fine of N300, 000 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira), while   Celestine bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of N200, 000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira).

Additionally, the judge ordered that the total balance found in the convicts’ bank accounts, as well as phones:  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-related offences.  They were investigated, prosecuted and eventually convicted.

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