18th June, 2019
Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday convicted and sentenced Bisong James Oyen, a fake employment officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to two years imprisonment without an option of fine.
Similarly, Kelvin Ogbonna, an internet scammer equally bagged two years from the same judge.
Oyen was arraigned by the EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on Thursday, June 13, 2019 on a two-count charge bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007, and punishable under Section 1 (2) of the same Act.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Bisong James Oyen, on or about 11th December, 2018 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did forge Economic and Financial Crimes Commission appointment letter and delivered same to Talbort Young for employment with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine a pretext, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (2) of the same Act”.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges at the point of arraignment. He, however, changed his plea on Tuesday to “guilty”, thus paving the way for his conviction.
Justice Omotosho convicted and sentenced him to two years imprisonment on each of the charges. The sentences run concurrently. Both the prosecution and defence counsels agreed on the plea bargain arrangement.
Oyen’s journey to prison began when a petitioner alleged that he logged into the EFCC’s website in a bid to apply for a job, but could not get log in successfully. He disclosed that he later received a call from one Alex (Kalu Patrick Ikechukwu), now at large, that he should send his document to an email address: [email protected] and pay some money into an account number of one of the new generation banks.
The petitioner thereafter got an assurance that he would receive an appointment letter from the EFCC that would qualify him for training by the EFCC. After waiting for sometime without any communication from the EFCC, he reported the matter for investigations and the results showed that Oyen was neither a bonafide employment officer of the EFCC nor authorized to receive any payment from any member of the public on behalf of the Commission.
In the same vein, Justice Omotosho also convicted and sentenced an internet fraudster, Kelvin Ogbonna to two years imprisonment.
Ogbonna was arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC on a two-count charge, bordering on false pretences.
One of the charges against Ogbonna reads: “That you, Kelvin Ogbonna on or about 12th February 2019, in Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court had in your possession (your email address: [email protected] and [email protected]) documents containing false pretences which you knew or ought to know contains false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offence Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3).”
He pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to him. He, however, changed his plea on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, to “guilty”, thus paving the way for his conviction.
Justice Omotosho convicted and sentenced him to two years imprisonment on each of the charges. The sentences run concurrently. Both the prosecution counsel, Esin – Otu Ebipade and defence counsel, B.M Mgbamoka agreed on the plea bargain arrangement.
Ogbonna got into trouble when the EFCC acted on some intelligence concerning his impersonation, possession of scam documents and internet fraud and arrested him accordingly. Investigation showed that his Apple iphone 6 and Hewlett Packard (HP) Pavilion laptop contained documents, which were false pretences.
Upon interrogation, he confessed that he was involved in internet fraud by using a fake FaceBook profile with the name Fredrick Keefer and Google hangout accounts with the usernames [email protected] and [email protected] to defraud his victims via scammed mails.