The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) achieved a significant milestone on November 2, 2023, when it secured convictions for 22 individuals involved in internet fraud. These convictions were handed down by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State.
The defendants were found guilty on various counts related to impersonation and fraudulent activities. The convicted individuals include Ayodeji Jerome Olumeko, Chima Blessing Afam, Obalim Johndson, Michael Echezona Anyikaeme, Alior Chidera Emmanuel, Chidiebube Ukaigwe Emmanuel, Dim Samuel, Amobi Stanley Ajala, Irobi Kingsley Chiedozie, Oranusi Sylvester Chigozie, Agbo Michael, and Chibuisi Okpara, among others.
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Ayodeji Jerome Olumeko, for instance, faced a charge of fraudulent impersonation, as he was accused of posing as a foreign national, Scott Herman, through his Gmail account, using an iPhone 12 pro in June 2023, in Ugwuaji, Enugu State. Similarly, Akpata Sunday Onose was charged with impersonating a white lady, Caire Gilliard, on Facebook with the intent to obtain money by false pretense in Enugu, Enugu State, in October 2023, using an Infinix Phone.
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All 22 defendants pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them. Subsequently, Justice Dimgba delivered sentences, with seventeen of the defendants receiving two years of imprisonment with an option to perform community service or pay a fine of N120,000 (One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira). Four of the defendants, namely Samuel, Chidiebube Ukaigwe Emmanuel, Nweze, and Chukwuka Emmanuel, were cautioned and assigned community service. Only Okpara was cautioned and discharged.
These convictions mark the culmination of investigations and prosecutions carried out by EFCC operatives to address internet-related offenses committed by the convicted individuals.