Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, convicted and sentenced 12 internet fraudsters to prison.
Those convicted are Falodun Samuel, Edward Omoruyi, Earnest Osazemwinde, Temitayo Oluwaseyi Ogunlana, Iweriebo Raphael Emmy and Philip Ayodeji Kolawale.
Others are Faith Ilemobayo, Amiohu Paul, Imokhai Dickson, Peter Paul Philip, Roland Junior and Arebu Julius.
They were arraigned separately by the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC on one count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents and unlawful retention of proceeds of crime.
Upon arraignment, all the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges, prompting the prosecution counsel, K.U.Udus, I.K. Agwai and K.Y. Bello to pray the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they were first time offenders who have become remorseful for their actions.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Samuel, Omoruyi, Osazemwinde, Emmy, Ilemobayo, Dickson, Philip, Julius and Junior to three years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine.
Kolawale and Ogunlana were sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of two hundred thousand naira while Paul bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira only.
The judge ordered that the sum of N1,400,000 recovered from Osazemwinde; one black Lexus IS 250, Mercedes Benz 250, one Lexus ES350, and Laptop, recovered from Falodun Samuel and Edward Omoruyi’s bank account be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.