Court jails eight FUTA undergraduates, six others for Internet fraud in Benin 


Some of the internet fraudsters jailed

Thirteen internet fraudsters were on Thursday convicted and sentenced to various jail terms by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court in Benin City, Edo State.

Eight of them: Ayodeji Emmanuel, Oyebade Johnpeace Jesustofunmi, Babatunde Oluwapelumi Richard, Owoyemi Michael Boluwatife Sodiq Bayonle Qosim, Sunday Solomon Blessing, Ilori Tolulope and Anthony Akinbulijo, are undergraduates of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.

Others are Ifiriyele Orilola Samuel, Ajileye Wale, Elvis Oni Mohammed, Ogbeifun Prince and Stephen Kelvin and Abudu Umaru

The convicts were arraigned separately on one count charge of impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The charge against Mohammed reads: “that you Elvis Oni Mohammed on or about the 9th day of February, 2024 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section and 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of same Act.

Upon arraignment all the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them, prompting prosecution counsels F.A. Jirbo, I.K Agwai, A. A. Ibrahim, I.Faisal and A. S.Bala-Riba to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, the defence counsel pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.

Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Mohammed, Richard, Boluwatife, Qosim, Tolulope, Samuel, Wale and Akjnbulijo to three years imprisonment each or a fine of N100,000.00 each.

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The duo of Prince and Blessing bagged three years imprisonment with an option of N200,000.00 each.

The trio of Emmanuel, Jesutofunmi and Kelvin were sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000.00 each.

Umaru who was convicted on February 16, 2024 by Justice Ikponmwonba for retention of proceeds of crime.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000.00. The judge ordered the restitution of the victim with the sum of N354,000.00 by the convict.

In addition, the court ordered the forfeiture of the convicts’ mobile phones, balances in their bank accounts and a Mercedes Benz GLA250 model, being proceeds of crime to the Federal government of Nigeria and to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour forthwith.

Their road to the Correctional Centre began following their arrest by operatives of the Commission based on actionable intelligence on their fraudulent activities.

Upon investigations, the convicts were discovered to be involved in different modes of internet fraud. For instance, 25-year-old Mohammed was discovered to be involved in a Bitcoin scam using social media platforms.

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