March 3, 2024

Court jails banker, 8 internet fraudsters in Benin

A high court sitting in Benin City, Edo State, has jailed a 40-year-old banker, Andrew Nwadiashi, and eight cyber criminals.

The fraudsters were convicted and sentenced by Justice M. Itsueli of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City on Friday, August 4, 2023.

The convicts are Osawa Marvellous, Etinosa Ogieva, Erharruyi Osaigbovo, Isaac Godstime Eghosa, Obasohan Kelvin, Evans Jessa Mike, Timothy Odion and Festus Efe Iyengunmwena.

The defendants 

The banker was captured for a petition filed against him by First Bank sometime in 2020. As Head, Non-Financial Transaction at Warri branch of the bank in Delta State, he allegedly disregarded banking policy and debited a customer’s account to the tune of N9,354,000.00. During the investigation, the banker confessed to the offense.

While the eight defendants were arraigned on separate one-count charges each on stealing, retention of proceeds of illegal activities, and unlawful possession of fraudulent documents by the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC.

The defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges, prompting the prosecution counsel, I. M. Elodi, IK Agwai,  K.Y. Bello and Ibrahim Faisal to request the court convict and jail them accordingly.

“Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Nwadiashi to two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000. The defendant had fully paid the aggregate sum of N9,654,000.00, being the principal sum and interest, in restitution to the victim of crime,” the statement reads.

“The court convicted and sentenced Marvellous, Odion, Ogieva and Iyengunmwena to three years imprisonment with an option of Three Hundred Thousand Naira as fine.

“The duo of Osaigbovo and Mike were each sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine,” it added.

Moreover, the court sentenced Eghosa and Kelvin to one month jail with a payable fine of two hundred thousand naira.

The court forfeited all items belonging to the defendants to the Federal Government.

It noted, “Justice Itsueli ordered that a Toyota Lexus ES 330;  Lexus E350, phone, laptops and the balance in the convicts’ bank accounts be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

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