Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City had convicted and sentenced four internet fraudsters to jail.
Justice Efe Ikponmwonba delivered the judgement on Thursday, May 4, 2023.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
According to the statement, those convicted are Edemakhiota Osaretin, Ehiaguina Joel, Desmondehator Osarumwense and Jonathan Ibhazeh (aka Ehis Samson).
They were arraigned by the Benin Zonal Command EFCC on separate one count charges bordering on possession of fraudulent documents, personation and intent to defraud.
“Upon arraignment the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges,” the statement reads.
It added, “In view of their plea, prosecution counsel, I.M. Elodi and I.K. Agwai prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly. However, the defence counsel pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first time offenders and have become remorseful for their actions.”
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Osaretin to three years imprisonment with an option of Five Hundred thousand Naira as fine while Joel bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira,” the statement disclosed.
“Osarumwense bagged one year imprisonment or a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira while Ibhazeh was sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira,” it said.
Justice Ikponmwonba ordered that the sum of N3,922,322.57 and N1,008,383.47 in the bank accounts of Ehiaguina and Osaretin be forfeited to the Federal government.
Osaretin is also to pay the sum of N1,000,000 to the Federal Government in lieu of the forfeiture of a Gas Plant named Edema Global Oil and Gas Limited belonging to him situated at Ahor Community, Benin-Auchi Road, Edo State.
The defendants are to forfeit a Toyota Venza, 2010 model and mobile phones, being proceeds of crime, to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.
The judge also ordered the closure of defendant’s bank accounts.