Benin convicts

The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on November 6, 2023 secured the conviction and sentencing of eight internet fraudsters to various jail terms by Justice Efe Isoken Ikponmwonba of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin, Edo State.

The convicts are:  Pele Osai Wisdom,  Olise Godspower Ikenna, Okeke Benjamin Chinazor, Macdonald Iriaremhen Onajasike, Prince Joshua, Jethro Saapila, Gilbert Nelson Onyeka and Ojo Osatohhanmwen Favour.

They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charges bordering on obtaining under false pretense and unlawful possession of fraudulent documents.

One of the charges reads:   “That you Pele Ossai Wisdom ( a.k.a Dickson Orakh ) sometimes between 19th February 2020 and 10th June 2020 in Ekpoma within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtain the aggregate sum of N3, 374,96.53 from one Dawn Aschenbrenner, a Canadian national under the pretense that the said money is the legal fee of one Emma Marcus who defrauded her of the sum of $213.832 which pretence you knew is false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act,2006 and punishable under Section 1(3)of the same Act.

The convicts, upon their arraignment on October 6, 2023, pleaded guilty to their respective charges when read to them, prompting EFCC’s counsels: I.M Elodi, I.K Agwai, Salihu Ahmed and KY Bello to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

In her judgment, Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Pele Ossai Wisdom to 12 months imprisonment with an option of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) fine. He also forfeited the cash sum of N3,374.96.53 (Three Million, Three Hundred and Seventy-Four Thousand, Ninety-Six Naira, Fifty-Three kobo) refund to Dawn Aschenbrenner, a Canadian national through the EFCC.

Onyeka,  Iknna , Chinazor and Favour were sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) fine. The duo of Joshua and Onajasike bagged two years imprisonment with an option of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand naira) fine. Similarly, Saapila bagged two years imprisonment with an option of N300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) fine.

In addition, the convicts forfeited mobile phones, laptops and money in their bank accounts, being proceeds of crimes to the Federal government of Nigeria.

The convicts started their journey to the Correctional Centre when they were arrested by operatives of the Commission based on actionable intelligence on their alleged internet fraud-related activities. They were charged to court and convicted.

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