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Eight jailed for internet fraud in A’Ibom

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Uyo Zonal Command has secured the conviction and sentence of eight internet fraudsters in the state.

On Saturday, this was contained in a statement by its Spokesperson, Dele Oyewale.

Oyewale said Justice Rosemary Oghoghorie of the Federal High Court, Calabar, Cross River State convicted the internet fraudsters.

He explained that they were prosecuted separately on two counts that bordered on criminal impersonation, identity theft, and obtaining by false pretence.

He listed the convicts to include: Abasiofon Daniel Essien also known as Jason Momoa, Gideon Junior, Edikan Ubong, Harrison Chiemelie, Ndifereke Umoh, Christopher Promise, Effiong Wisdom, and Godswill Nsikan.

One of the charges against Essien reads, “That you, Abasiofon Daniel Essien (aka Jason Momoa) sometime in 2023, in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court did take possession of $300 (Three Hundred US dollars) intentionally, knowing that the money formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: Identity theft and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 and punishable under the Section 18 (3) of the same Act.

One of Wisdom’s charges reads, “That you, Effiong Wisdom “M” (aka Pamela Randy) sometime in November 2023, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did fraudulently present yourself as Pamela Randy to Michael Moore on the social media platform: Facebook/Instagram with intent to gain advantage for yourself did take possession of the sum of $170 (One Hundred and Seventy United States Dollars) knowing that the money formed part of the proceed of an unlawful act to wit: impersonation thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition and Prevention) Act 2022 and punishable under Section 18 (3) of the same Act.”

They all pleaded guilty to the offences against them.

“They all pleaded guilty to their charges when they were read to them following which prosecution counsel, Khamis Mahmud tendered their confessional statements and incriminating contents of their mobile phones to the court as evidence and urged the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.”

“The judge convicted and sentenced them to two years in jail each. Umoh, Promise, Chiemelie, and Nsikan were allowed to pay a fine of N2 million each (Two Million Naira). Junior, Essien, and Ubong were given an N1.5 million (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira) option of a fine, while Wisdom was given an N1,000,000 (One Million Naira) option.

“In addition, Essien, Junior, Ubong, and Chiemelie are to restitute $100, $300, $170 and N140,000.00 respectively to their victims, while Umoh, Promise, Wisdom, and Nsikan will restitute $70, $140, N100,000.00, and Nsikan $50 respectively to their victims.”

The convicts also forfeited their phones which the court described as tools for their crimes to the government.

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