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Court jails man 29 years for N2m cyber fraud

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
07 May 2019   |   4:14 am
Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, yesterday sentenced one Adegboye Joshua Oluyeyi...

Cyber crime

Another rejects plea-bargain, imprisons Internet fraudster
Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, yesterday sentenced one Adegboye Joshua Oluyeyi to 29 years imprisonment for a N2 million cyber fraud.

Oluyeyi, who arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a nine-count charge bordering on cybercrime, was convicted for hacking into the e-mail account of one Florence Kentiobong and diverting N2 million into his account by replacing the account information of the victim with his personal account details, causing the said payment to be made into the account of the convict instead of the account of the original benefactor.

He pleaded “guilty” to the charges and was convicted, accordingly.

While delivering judgment, Justice Riman sentenced Oluyeyi to three years on count one to count eight, and five years on count nine, to run concurrently from the date of arrest being July 21, 2018.

The trial judge further ruled: “I have considered that the accused person has no criminal record. I hereby sentence him accordingly.”

The court further ordered that the convict be remanded in prison, pending when he pays the restituted sum to the victim, and either pays the cumulative fine of N320,000 or serve the jail term.

In a related vein, Justice Riman also convicted and sentenced one Ukana Iramofu to two years imprisonment with an option of a fine of N50,000 after he pleaded “guilty” to a one-count charge preferred against him by the EFCC for his involvement in a N464,500 fraud.

The judge further ordered Iramofu to pay the sum of N464,500 to the victim as restitution and also remanded him in prison pending when he restitutes the said sum.

Meanwhile, apparently disgusted by the negative effect the activities of Internet fraudsters impose on Nigeria’s image, Justice Joyce Abdulmalik of the Federal High Court, Ibadan Judicial Division, yesterday rejected the terms of plea-bargain presented on behalf of Oladimeji Omotola Abiola, an alleged Internet fraudster.

The suspect pleaded guilty to the one-count amended charge.

The judge, instead of the six months prison term proposed in the plea-bargain agreement, sentenced Oladimeji to one year imprisonment, saying too liberal sentencing would not achieve deterrence, which was meant to be the spirit of the law against crimes.

Similarly, one Yusuf Babatunde, an Internet fraud suspect, was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on cybercrime and impersonation.

After the suspect pleaded not guilty to the charges, the EFCC lawyer, Ibe Kute, prayed the court for a trial date and an order to remand the defendant in prison custody.

Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court 1, Ibadan, adjourned the case to June 5, 2019 for trial and ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Agodi Prison pending the determination of his case.