The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sokoto Zonal office on Thursday 17 June, 2021 secured the conviction of five internet fraudsters: Alfred Stephen, Onyebuchi Joseph Elijah ( a.k.a Svenulrich), Usman Mustapha, Abdullahi Abubakar (a.k.a Shine Eye) and Umar Khalifa on separate charges before Justice Muhammad Muhammad of the Sokoto State High Court, Sokoto.
They were prosecuted on a one count charge each bordering on conspiracy and cheating.
The charge against one of the defendants reads, “that you Alfred Stephen, sometime in 2021 at Sokoto, within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Justice of Sokoto State did fraudulently cheated one Grazyna, a Belgium national; Alfansina, an Italian and Janny, a Dutch woman by dishonestly deceiving them to collect the total sum of €19,500 Euros (Nineteen Thousand Five Hundred Euros) by presenting yourself to them as an American serving in Syria and sending documents of false pretenses to them which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence of cheating contrary to Section 310 of the Sokoto State Penal Code Law 2019 and punishable under Section 311 of the same Law”.
Upon arraignment, they pleaded ‘guilty’ to the separate charges.
In view of the defendants’ plea, the prosecuting counsel, S. H. Sa’ad who appeared with Musa Mela Gwani and Habila Jonathan asked the court to convict and sentence the defendants.
However, the defence counsel, Shamsu Dauda, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as his clients were first time offenders who have become remorseful. He also told the court that the convicts are ready to restitute their victims.
Justice Muhammad, thereafter convicted and sentenced the 1st defendant (Alfred Stephen) to Five (5) years imprisonment with option of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000.00) fine.
He ordered the convict to restitute the sum €19,500 (Nineteen Thousand Five Hundred Euros) to the victim through EFCC.
The 2nd defendant, Onyebuchi Joseph Elijah (a.k.a Mr. Svenulrich) was setenced to five years imprisonment with an option of N150,000.00 fine. The convict is also to restitute the victim the sum of €1,750.00.
The 3rd defendant, Usman Mustapha was sentenced to five (5) years imprisonment with an option of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000.00) fine.
He is to restitute the sum Five Thousand Denmark Krone which is equivalent to Three Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira only (N310,000) to the victim.
The 4th and 5th defendants, Abdullahi Abubakar (a.k.a Shine Eye) and Umar Khalifa were convicted and sentenced to Three years imprisonment each with an option of N100, 000.00 fine.