By Oghenekevwe Arese
In the capital city of Edo State, Benin City, a High Court presided over by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba has convicted and sentenced two brothers, Ochuko Godfrey and Ochuko Prosper, along with 14 others, to various jail terms.
In a recent post on Thursday from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s official account, it was disclosed that along with the aforementioned duo, others involved in the illegal activities are Prosper Enahoro, Ogheneoma Udolu, Raymond Edise, Akai Philip Onochie, Osayi Kennedy Obaseki, Joshua Ngerem, Oghogho Marvelous Ekpuke, Stanley David, Jackson Shebenor, Felix Orevaoghene Emmanuel, Gideon Onaiwu, Johnson Godspower Oghenevwegba, Godspower Emmanuel Jerimaiah, and Felix Wada.
According to the EFCC, these individuals were separately arraigned by the Benin Zonal Command, facing a one-count charge of impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents.
“They were arrested by operatives of the Commission based on actionable intelligence on their alleged internet fraud-related activities. Upon investigation, the convicts were discovered to be involved in different variants of internet fraud. For instance, Ochuko Godfrey impersonated one Richard Williams and Antonio Matthew in his attempt to defraud unsuspecting victims.
The charge against Joshua Ngerem reads: “that you, Joshua Ngerem on or about 8th September, 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 6 and 8 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of same Act”.
Upon arraignment, they pleaded guilty to their respective charges, after which they were convicted and sentenced accordingly.
The judge ordered the forfeiture of the convicts’ mobile phones, one HP Laptop and the balance in their bank accounts, being proceeds of crime, to the Federal government of Nigeria. The court further ordered that the bank accounts be closed.
“In a similar development, Justice S. M. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City on Tuesday convicted and sentenced Anah Trust Avwerosuo to two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 for his involvement in internet fraud. Avwerosuo had impersonated Henri-Alva-Rezi, an American, to defraud his victims,” the statement added.