June 21, 2024

Internet fraudster bags one year jail term in Port Harcourt

Internet fraudster bags one year jail term in Port Harcourt

Justice E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital has convicted and sentenced one Ukachukwu Chidiebere to prison for internet fraud.

Chidiebere was prosecuted by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC on one count bordering on impersonation.

The charge read: “That you Ukachukwu Chidiebere (a. K. a Libaan Cali, David Mckay), on or about the 2nd of February, 2024, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently created a Google Chat account with usernames: davidmckayceo001.rbc@gmail.com and represented yourself as David Mckay, the Chief Executive Officer and President of Royal Bank of Canada with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.”

He pleaded “guilty” when the charge was read to him, following which prosecution counsel Abdulramad Abubakar, called a witness, Tasiu Balla Mohammed who testified against him. The prosecution also tendered some documents to further prove the case against the defendant.

In view of the testimonies of the witness and the documents tendered, the prosecution counsel prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant in line with his plea, while the defence counsel, M. M. Suleiman prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, stating that the defendant is a first-time offender with no previous criminal records and has become remorseful.

In his judgement, Justice Obile convicted and sentenced the defendant to one-year imprisonment or pay a fine of  N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira). In addition, the convict forfeited his Toshiba laptop and its charger, a computer mouse and one blue Tecno mobile phone to the federal government. He also deposed to an affidavit of good behaviour before the court.

Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Dele Oyewale, said the convict was apprehended by operatives of “Operation Eagle Sweep” of the EFCC in February 2024 at Daewoo Road by Ox-bow Lake, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State following intelligence on his internet fraud activities.

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