By Andy Chukwu
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has convicted two students of Ekiti State University for internet fraud.
The convicts, Adefemi Dare and Adeyemi Olugbenga, 400-level Mechanical Engineering and Political Science students respectively, were convicted after pleading guilty to the fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that Adefemi, some time ago in Ekiti, fraudulently impersonated Brian Watkins of the U.S. with intent to obtain property.
The EFCC also alleged that Adeyemi fraudulently impersonated an American known as Paul Edwin to extort N500,000 from a victim who resides in the US.
The anti-graft agency said both convicts committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) b (II) of the Cyber Crimes, Prohibition, Prevention etc Act, 2015 and punishable under Section (22) (2) b (IV) of the same Act.
Justice Nkeonye Maha, in her judgement, held that because Adefemi was a first-time offender and cooperated with the EFCC, the court sentenced him to three months imprisonment with an option of N200,000 to be paid to the Federal Government.
She also ordered that Adefemi’s iPhone X should be sold and proceeds remitted to the Federal Government.
Justice Maha also ordered the convict to swear to an affidavit to be of good behaviour.
Likewise, while passing judgment, the judge ordered that Adeyemi’s iPhone X, Tecno Pouvoir phone, and HP laptop be sold by the EFCC and remit the proceeds to the government.
Maha sentenced Adeyemi to three months imprisonment with an option of N250,000 be paid to the Federal Government.
She also said that the bank draft for N500,000 recovered from the defendant be paid to the victim through the British High Commission.
She, however, warned that failure to comply with these orders within four months from the day of judgment, the defaulting party will be sanctioned.
A plea bargain agreement was applied for on August 22 and filed September 9 for both defendants separately.
The plea bargain was in pursuant to Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
The EFCC said that Adefemi was arrested sometime in August following investigations which revealed that the defendant had registered an American phone number on his Whatsapp to chat with victims.
The anti-graft agency also said that Adeyemi was arrested on August 7 in Ekiti state.
The EFCC said the convict during the course of investigation admitted to receiving N500,000 through Western Union from his victim in the US.