19 internet fraudsters have been convicted and sentenced to prison for fraud in Edo.
They were jailed by Justices Efe Ikponmwonba and M. Itsueli of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City on Tuesday.
The convicts are Fidelis Esajini, Nicholas Azeke, Marvellous Alakpa, Adelike Ifeakachukwu Destiny, Osamwingie Osarenwinda, Mathias Friday Gbenga; Collins Etiosa Iyekeoretin, Anyanwu Miracle, Justice Aifo, Emmanuel Efetobor.
Others include Osahenie Louis Uwoghiren, Emmanuel Osifo, Timothy Nowamagbe, Desmond Taiwo, Atunu Brilliant Ewomaoghene, Elvis Onojebe, Promise Uduaghan, Francis Uzoma Okoliko and Omokaro Omonefe.
The Economic Financial Crimes Commission, on Wednesday, made this known on its website.
They were arraigned separately on one count of charges bordering on retention of proceeds of crime, fraudulent representation and unlawful possession of fraudulent documents.
The court mandated that six vehicles- Lexus ES350, Black Mercedes ML350, Mercedes Benz C-30 model, Mercedes Benz ML 350, Lexus NX, Toyota Corolla- iPad, laptops, phones and the balance in the defendants’ bank accounts be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.
Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges. This prompted the prosecution counsels, F.A. Jirbo, I.M Elodi, Saliu Ahmed, A.A. Ibrahim, and AS Balariba to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly but counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first-time offenders who had turned a new leaf.
Delivering the verdict, Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Esajini, Destiny, Osarenwinda, Gbenga, Iyekeoretin, Nowamagbe, Ewomaoghene and Okoliko to three years imprisonment with an option of N200,000 as fine while Azeke, Miracle, Aifo, Efetobor, Uwoghiren, Osifo got to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each.
Alakpa bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of N300,000 while Taiwo bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000
Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced the trio of Promise Uduaghan, Elvis Onojebe and Omokaro Omonefe to three years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000.