6th July, 2022
The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has secured the conviction of two internet fraudsters, Freedom Ovie and Idogho Junior.
They were convicted on a one count charge of personation before Justices Efe Ikponmwonba and M. Itsueli of the Edo State High sitting in Benin City, Edo State.
Ovie impersonated one Stephen Dickson, a US Army personnel, while Junior impersonated one Alexander Mark, an American actor, with intent to defraud them.
The charge against Ovie reads: “that you, Freedom Ovie sometimes in February, 2022 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be Stephen Dickson, a US army officer, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (as Applicable in Edo State) 1976”.
The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. Consequently, the prosecution counsel, Francis A.Jirbo and Aham Ozigbu, prayed the courts to convict and sentence them accordingly.
However, the defence counsel pleaded with the courts to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first-time offenders.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Ovie to three years imprisonment with an option of Three Hundred Thousand Naira fine.
The judge also ordered that the Tecno phone recovered in the course of the investigation be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Junior to three years imprisonment or a fine of N400,000.