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The Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, May 22, 2023 secured the conviction of ten (10) internet fraudsters before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State.

The convicts are: Isaac Uchenna Akuma, Praise Lucky Moses, Joel Akanimo, Afia Emediong Godwin, Archibong Unyime Inyang, Kelechi Richard Udochi, Prince Edet Okon, Promise Benedict Okon, Victor Eze and Emmanuel Imoh Archibong.

They were all arraigned on separate two-count charges except Archibong who was arraigned on a one-count charge bordering on fraudulent impersonation and obtaining by false pretence.

One of the charges read: “That you, Joel Akanimoh “M” sometime in 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did take possession and control of $1200 (One Thousand, Two Hundred United States Dollars) intentionally, knowing that the money formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit; obtaining money by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act and punishable under Section 18 (3) of the same Act”

They all pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them separately. In view of their pleas, prosecutors S. S Aribido and J. E. I. Ogbuli, prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

However, defence counsel, E. E. Osim, Koko Essien, Udeme Tom and S. E. Omenyi prayed the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing their clients who according to them “are first-time offenders”.

Justice Ojukwu, after listening to both sides, convicted and  sentenced nine of the defendants to six months imprisonment each, with an option of fine of N1,000,000 (One Million Naira), except Archibong who was sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) fine. Having spent more than the term in prison custody, Archibong was released by the court.

The court further ordered that the convicts restitute as follows: Akuma to restitute the sum of $205 to his victim, Moses $1000 to his victims; Akanimo $1200 to his victims; Godwin $200 to his victims; Inyang  $100 to his victim; Udochi  N230,000.00 to his victims and Okon the sum of N820,000.00 to his victims. Others are, Promise who was ordered to restitute $1500 Canadian dollars or its equivalent in Naira to his victims and Eze sum of $800 to his victims.

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