Four internet fraudsters, Omokhua Bright, Nosakhare Uyi, Endurance Omonefe and Osasenaga Desmond were found guilty and sentenced to various prison terms on Wednesday by Judge Efe Ikponmwonba of the Edo State High Court, Benin City.
A press release from Wilson Uwujaren, head of media and publicity for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said the foursome had been arrested separately by Benin’s Zone Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. for one count of theft of identity and obtaining by false pretence.
The charge against Uyi reads: “that you Nosakhare Uyi in February 2022 in Benin City, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, with intent to defraud, you are falsely represented as Carey Stephen Bernard (an American soldier ) on the WeChat Platform and that you have thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 484 of the Penal Code, Cap 48 Act, Laws of Bendel State in Nigeria (as applicable in Edo State ) 1976 and punishable under the same section”.
The charge against Bright reads: “that you, Omokhua Bright, between the year 2020 and February 21, 2022 in Benin City, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, fraudulently impersonated a certain Micole, an American on your Instagram account with intent to defraud unsuspecting investors in bitcoin trading and thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Penal Code Cap 48, Laws of the ‘Bendel State in Nigeria (as applicable in Edo State) 1976’.
At arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. In view of their pleas, prosecution attorneys Austin Ozigbu, KY Bello and IK Agwai begged the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Judge Ikponmwonba found guilty and sentenced the duo Uyi and Desmond to three years imprisonment or a fine of 200,000 and 300,000 naira respectively. Bright was sentenced to five years imprisonment or a fine of N300,000, while Omonefe was sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of N150,000.
The duo of Bright and Uyi have to surrender their cars, Lexus 350 SVU and Mercedes Benz C300 to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
All defendants must also confiscate their phones to the Federal Government of Nigeria and undertake in writing to behave themselves.