21st October, 2019
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on October 21, 2019, sentenced and convicted one Ekhator Prince (a.k.a Maxwell), to six months imprisonment on a two-count charge, bordering on cybercrimes and impersonation.
Ekhator Prince was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, after he was busted trying to swindle an American woman, online of $500.000.
He was arraigned on September 9, 2019 in court.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you Ekhator Prince (a.k.a Maxwell) Sometime in 2019 at Abuja FCT within the Jurisdiction of this honorable court, did fraudulently impersonate a United States citizen named Maxwell on Hangout social media application account, with the intent to obtain the sum of 500,000 USD (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) from one Katie Henderson of United States of America, through the Western Union account of one Paul, and there by committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2) (b) (iv) of the same Act”.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge after it was read to him.
However, prosecution counsel, Maryam Hayatudden, told the court that the defendant had on October 18 2019, filed a plea bargain agreement which was signed by both parties and urged the court to adopt the agreement and convict and sentence the defendant accordingly.
Justice Abang, while noting that plea bargain was in line with the provision of Section 22 (2)(b) and (22) (iv) of the Cyber-Crime Prohibition Prevention Act 2015”, convicted and sentenced the defendant to six months imprisonment with effect from the day of conviction.
Abang gave Ekhator the option to pay with N300, 000 as fine, which must be paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the EFCC, “In line with the plea bargain agreement, which the defendant lawfully, willingly, and voluntarily entered into by the prosecution and defendant on October 18, 2019.”