Court jails 5 in Benin City for internet fraud

An Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City, has convicted and sentenced five internet fraudsters to various jail terms.

The convicts are Jacob Sunday, Olarenwaju Adewale, Emmanuel  Ajayi, Adewale Festus and Seyi Olumeko.

Sunday and Adewale were jailed on Tuesday, while the trio of Ajayi, Festus and Olumeko were jailed on February 29, 2024.

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

The charge against Ajayi reads: “that you Emmanuel Ajayi (m) on or about February 12, 2024, in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this 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 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.2006 and punishable under section 1(3)of same Act.”

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All the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them, prompting prosecution counsel, I. Agwai, K. Bello, A. Ibrahim to pray 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.

Trial judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Sunday, Adewale, Olumeko and Festus to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each while Ajayi bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000.

The judge ordered that the convicts forfeit their phones, balances in their various bank accounts being proceeds of crime to the Federal Government.

All the convicts are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour afterwards.

The convicts were arrested by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC, based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in fraudulent activities.

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