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Court jails four internet fraudsters in Calabar




Justice Rosemary Dugbo Oghoghorie of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, on Thursday, September 28, 2023, convicted and sentenced four internet fraudsters to one year imprisonment each, without an option of fine.

The all-male convicts, with ages ranging between 20 and 28 years, are Abdullahi Saidu Momoh, Godwin Boman Emmanuel, Samuel Godfrey Orudu, and Anunobi Kyrian.

They were jailed after pleading guilty to separate charges, all bordering on criminal impersonation and obtaining false pretences.

One of the separate charges reads: “That you, Abdullahi Saidu Momoh “M,” sometime in 2022, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently presented yourself variously as Andrew Smith, Theo Hutchraft, and Jjchang Wook on social media platforms, from Instagram and Facebook to Sondry Rissell and Peggy Grabner, with intent to gain an advantage for yourself, and thereby committed an offence to wit: identity theft and impersonation, contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act”.

Based on their “guilty” pleas, Counsel to the EFCC, Khamis Mahmud, prayed to the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, the defence counsels:

Innocent Eze, Francis Ezike, and Cyprian Afahanam sued for leniency for the defendants.

Justice Oghoghorie,however, sentenced all four defendants to one year of imprisonment each, without the option of a fine. Orudu and Kyrian’s sentences are to run concurrently. The court also ordered Kyrian to restitute the sum of $500 (five hundred United States dollars) and Orudu the sum of N2,000, 000 (two million naira only) to the Federation Account. The court also ordered that items recovered from the convicts be forfeited to the federal government.

The convicts’ journey to the correctional centre started on August 29, 2023, when they were arrested by operatives of the Uyo Zonal Command of the Commission at Akwa Ima Estate in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for internet-related offences. They were prosecuted and convicted.

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