Twenty six year-old Ohenhen Victor Ikponwosa, a graduate of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma and 10 others were on Tuesday June 20, 2023 convicted and sentenced to prison by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City for internet fraud.
The others are Iredia Junior Ehis, Awe Macdonald, Azanuwa Junior, Kelvin Akenuwa, Godspower Oghenekohwa, Collins Daniel, Junior Osarobo, Marvis Ogbodaga Osemudiamen, Jephthah Eromosele and Christopher Christian Dickson.
The convicts’ journey to prison began following their arrest based on intelligence on their nefarious activities by operatives of Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC and subsequent arraignment on separate one count charges each bordering on possession of allged proceeds of crime, false representation and unlawful possession of fraudulent documents, contrary to Sections 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( Establishment) Act ,2004 and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act.
Upon arraignment the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges prompting the prosecution counsel, I.M. Elodi, Salihu Ahmed and KY Bello to pray the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.
However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first time offenders who had turned a new leaf.
Justice Ikponmwonba thereafter convicted and sentenced Osemudiamen, Ikponwosa and Ehis to three years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira as fine.
The quartet of Akenuwa, Macdonald, Dickson, Oghenekohwa bagged two years imprisonment with an option of One Hundred Thousand Naira fine while Eromosele, Oserobo, and Daniel were sent to three years imprisonment with an option of One Hundred Thousand Naira fine.
The judge sent Junior to two years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine.
The judge also ordered that a Lexus RX 330 car and phones recovered during investigation, being proceeds of crime, be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria