Justices Toyin Bolaji Adegoke and Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State have convicted and sentenced ten(10) fraudsters to different jail terms for different offences.
They were convicted on Friday, June 24, 2022 after pleading guilty to one-count separate charges upon their arraignment by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
While eight of the convicts: Amos Richard Perekime, Ben Goodluck, Solomon Oghenefejiro Daniel, Ugbabe Ogah Nelson, Prosper Oweifah, Christopher Samuel Akpan, Ojei Ekene Franklin and Uzobo Lucky Divine pleaded guilty to one-count charge bordering on criminal impersonation and obtaining by false pretense, the other two convicts : Ekere Ekong and Obot Eshiet pleaded guilty to a charge bordering on obtaining by false pretences.
The lone count reads: “That you, Prosper Oweifah sometime in 2022 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to obtain property and gain advantage for yourself, fraudulently presented yourself as David Fumero, a medical doctor from Turkey to one Leslie Akers and obtained the sum of $500 from her and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) and (ii) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (b) (iv) of the same Act”.
Prosecution counsel, E. Ubokudom and Adebayo Soares prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly. However, defence counsel, Ndifreke Inyang-Ette pleaded for leniency and lighter sentence.
Justice Adegoke convicted and sentenced Perekime, Goodluck, Daniel, Nelson and Oweifah to one year imprisonment each, without an option of a fine and sentenced Ekong and Eshiet to two years imprisonment each, without an option of fine. The other three defendants: Akpan, Franklin and Divine were convicted and sentenced by Justice Okeke to three months, one month and six months jail terms respectively, without any option of fine.
The convicts’ journey to the Correctional Centre started when they were arrested on different dates, and at different locations within Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, Cross River State for different offences. Perekime, Goodluck, Daniel, Nelson and Oweifah, Akpan, Franklin and Divine were prosecuted and convicted for impersonating foreigners and defrauding their victims, mostly foreigners of various sums of money, while Ekong and Eshiet sold a plot of land to a petitioner in the Shelter Afrique area of Uyo for N9 million only for the petitioner to discover that the land belonged to someone else entirely. They neither returned the money to the petitioner nor offered him an alternative plot of land.