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Corps member bags two months for cybercrime

By Ameh Ochojila,  Abuja
24 November 2021   |   3:03 am
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, sentenced a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Ajayi Temitope Ayokunle to two months imprisonment without option of fine.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, sentenced a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC),  Ajayi Temitope Ayokunle to two months imprisonment without option of fine.
  
The 30-year old corps member, who posed as Dr. Joshua to defraud an American citizen, Maria, of $1,000 will in addition to his imprisonment, forfeit a cash sum of $500 found in his bank account and a sophisticated android telephone to the Federal Government.
  
Justice Ekwo, who expressed utter disgust at the embarrassing rate of cybercrime among Nigerian youths, turned down the plea bargain entered by the convict with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), wherein, he confessed to committing the crime and requested for a soft landing.

  
During his arraignment yesterday, EFCC counsel, Mrs. Dichi Gershom Umar drew the attention of Justice Ekwo to the plea bargain and urged him to convict the defendant with an option of fine, a request the Judge rejected.
  
The EFCC counsel said that the defendant had by the plea bargain confessed to committing  the offence and agreed to forfeit the $500 cash in his account and the android phone used to commit the crime to the Federal Government.
   
However,  Justice Ekwo, who was not comfortable with the terms of the plea bargain, subjected the convict to questioning, while in the dock.
    
The convict told the Judge that he read Political Science in one of Nigeria’s universities and is currently undergoing his one year mandatory service with the NYSC.
 
Apparently not happy with the unremorseful attitude of the defendant, Justice Ekwo said the option of fine would not happen in his court to serve as deterrence to other criminally minded youths.
  
Subsequently, the judge ordered him to remain in prison for two months beginning from November 23.
   
In the one-count charge preferred against the convict by EFCC, he was said to have defrauded one Maria, a United States of America citizen under the pretext of romance by posing as Dr. Joshua to deliver the sum of $1000, which she would not have done, but for the deceit.
    
The charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/316/2021 is contrary to Section 22 (2) of the Cybercrime Prohibition, Prevention Act 2015.