Two internet fraudsters, otherwise known as “Yahoo Boys”, Onalugbum Ekene and Chinedum Emejom were on Wednesday given an option of seven hundred thousand naira fine or serve ten years jail term for internet-related offences.
This was the judgement delivered by Justice F.A. Olubanjo of Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State.
The judgement followed the duo’s arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on one- count separate charge bordering on fraudulent impersonation and obtaining by false pretence.
According to a statement issued on Thursday by EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the lone-count reads, “That you Chinedu Emejom (aka Frank Louis) between January to March 2022 at No 12 PT Okonta Street in Asaba Delta State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did fraudulently impersonate the identity of one Frank Louis, a Swedish citizen, resident in the United State of America with intent to gain advantage to yourself from unsuspecting white women through Facebook account created by you and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(I) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2)(iv) of the same Act.”
The statement also said upon arraignment, the two, the defendants pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against them, prompting prosecution counsel, K. U. Udus to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
However, defence counsel, A.S.Akinfolarin prayed the court “ to temper justice with mercy as the defendants have become remorseful for their actions”.
Justice Olubanjo convicted and sentenced Emejom to five years imprisonment with an option of fine of N300,000( Three Hundred Thousand Naira) while Ekene bagged five years imprisonment with an option of fine of N400,000 ( Four Hundred Thousand Naira)
The defendants are also to forfeit their phones to the Federal Government of Nigeria and to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.
The convicts’ journey to the Correctional Centre started when they were arrested by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC for fraudulently impersonating Frank Louis, a Swedish citizen and Mr. Reeves, an American with intent to obtain money from unsuspecting members of the public.