Court Jails 15 Internet Fraudsters in Benin City (Photo)


Fifteen internet fraudsters have been jailed by the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.


They were convicted for obtaining money by false pretence.


The convicts are Sagay Favour, Efemini Kelvin Mudiaga, Izzi Evans, Okim Ekene, Jakpa Godspower and Lucky Alao SeyiEk. Others are Adams Jarret, Mathew Ese, Oritsegbogwa Joseph, Joshua Lucky Ojabugbe, Emudiaga Akpojaro, Richard Promise, Aboh Daniel Bonfrey, Deniran Emmanuel Edafe and Orode Ovie.


They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, possession of fraudulent documents upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


The charge against Edafe reads: That you Deniran Emmanuel Edafe (M) on or about the 3rd day of May 2024 in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known to contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 and 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.


All the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them in court, prompting prosecution counsel, F. A. Jirbo, I. M Elodi, I.K Agwai, K.Y. Bello and Ahmed Salihu, to pray for the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.


However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions. Justice Efe Ikponmwonba on Monday, May 13, 2024, sentenced Evans, Favour, Godspower, Ekene and Seyi to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each while Mudiaga bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 (Two hundred thousand Naira).


On Tuesday, May 14, Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Joseph, Ojeugba, Akpojoro, Bright, Aboh, Ovie and Orede to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each while Mathew Ese and Jarret bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000.


Justice Ikponmwonba ordered that the sum of N31,900,609.00 (Thirty million, Nine Hundred Thousand, Six Hundred and Nine Thousand Naira) and the sum of N4,410,508.28 (Four Million, Four Hundred and Ten thousand, Five hundred and Eight Naira, Twenty-Eight kobo) and the sum of 172 US dollars found in various bank accounts of Mudiaga and one Toyota Venza, being proceeds of crime, be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.


The judge also ordered Ozim Ekene to forfeit the three vehicles recovered from him – Mercedes Benz ML350, Mercedes Benz GLE450 and Mercedes Benz C300 as proceeds of crime to the Federal Government.


Justice Itsueli in her ruling ordered that four vehicles recovered from Mathew Ese and Ojabugbe, a Mercedes Benz 350, Two Mercedes Benz GLK and a Mercedes Benz ML be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.


All the convicts are to forfeit their phones, laptops, and balances in their various bank accounts, being instruments and proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria.


They are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour afterwards.