Court Jails Two Internet Fraudsters in Lagos

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Abdulazeez Abdulwahab 

JUSTICES Deinde Dipeolu and N. Ogazi of Federal High Court sitting in Lagos have convicted and sentenced two internet fraudsters; Oluwafemi Abdulwaheed Rasaq and Chris Onabulu to various jail terms for romance scam and impersonation

They were jailed following their guilty pleas to one-count separate charge bordering on cyber crimes upon being arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

The count against Rasag reads: “That you, Oluwafemi Abdulwaheed  Rasaq Sometime between January and September 2023 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court fraudulently impersonated one Amanda Valery Malpica by holding yourself out as such on your Facebook and Instagram App, with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.”

The count against Onabulu reads: “That you, Chris Onabulu on or about the 10th day of October 2023, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to gain advantage for yourself, fraudulently impersonated one ‘Anthony Hodge’ white male from Florida, United States of America, by holding yourself out as such to Sharon Lebec via email correspondence and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.”

They both pleaded guilty to the charges when they were read to them. Based on their pleas, prosecution counsel C.C. Okezie and Z.B. Atiku prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. 

However, defence counsel, Cookel George prayed the court for a non-custodial sentence, “like community service, to be served within the EFCC, so as to enable him to change from his ways and still be a useful citizen to the nation”.

Justice Dipeolu convicted and sentenced Rasaq to four weeks of community service with the EFCC, “where he is to be counselled and assisted on how to refrain from a life of crime”. 

Items recovered from him, including a manager’s cheque, were also ordered forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Ogazi also convicted and sentenced Onabulu to six months imprisonment, with an option of a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00) only. The court also ordered that the items recovered from him be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The two convicts bagged their imprisonment when they were arrested by operatives of the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC for internet-related crimes. They were investigated, charged to court and thereafter convicted.

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

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