Seven convicted of Internet fraud, another for claiming ownership of property under forfeiture
The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has secured the conviction of Felix Chidebere Gabriel, Hayble Wisdom, Joseph Yusuf, Amos Emmanuel, Solomon Haruna, Joshua Peter Bello and Abraham Adewale Ajoboh before Justice N.U Sadiq of the Kaduna State High Court on separate one count charges bordering on cybercrime and cheating by impersonation.
While six of the convicts, met their Waterloo when operatives of the Command raided their hideouts at Narayi and Barnawa in Kaduna metropolis, following intelligence on their alleged internet-based fraudulent activities where they assumed the identities of foreigners in luring unsuspecting victims to part with monies in foreign currencies.
The seventh defendant, Amos Emmanuel was convicted for representing himself as the owner of machinery that is subject of final forfeiture order under the control of the EFCC.
Some of the charges read:
“That you, Felix Chidebere (aka Nancy Williams) on or about the 30th of July, 2023 at Narayi axis of Kaduna State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, falsely presented yourself to one Jonny Cisco and in such assumed character, impersonated one Nancy Williams (a U.S citizen) via your Google chat account firstname.lastname@example.org and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 142 (1) of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017.
“That you, Joseph Yusuf (M), sometime in January, 2023, in Kaduna, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, impersonated one Edomand Hotman on Facebook and obtained gift cards worth the sum of One Hundred United States of America Dollar ($100.00) from Ann Coffee in an online investment scam, and you thereby committed cheating by impersonation, an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law, 2017 of Kaduna State and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.
“That you, Solomon Haruna (aka Michele Morrone) sometime in July, 2023 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud falsely presented yourself as Michele Morrone (an Italian) via Google chat (an online social media application) and in that assumed character cheated one Johanna Vazquez the total sum of $200USD and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017 and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.
“That you, Amos Emmanuel on or about the 19th of July, 2023 at Kaduna, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, committed an offence of cheating by impersonation when you represented yourself to be the owner of machinery that is subject of a final forfeiture order under the control of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017 and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law”.
They all pleaded guilty to their respective charges. Consequently, the prosecuting counsel, M.U Gadaka and K.S Ogunnade, urged the court to convict them accordingly.
Justice Sadiq, thereafter convicted and sentenced all the defendants to two years imprisonment with the option of a fine of N150, 000 each. They were also ordered to forfeit their mobile devices including an iPhone 7 plus, 2 iPhone 13 Pro Max, one iPhone XR and one Samsung iPhone X, to the Federal Government.
In addition, Yusuf and Haruna are to restitute their victims in the sums of $100 USD and $200 USD, respectively.
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