By Ada Wodu, Punch Newspaper
Justice Simon Amobeda of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, on Friday, convicted two fraudsters arraigned by the Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The convicts, Okanezi Tamunonengiyeofori and Unuafe Oghenetejiri, were convicted on separate one-count of impersonation and obtaining by false pretence.
Oghenetejiri fraudulently obtained the sum of N492, 000 from one Julius Austin Nkpung after hacking into the electronic identity of his UBA account, while Tamunonengiyeofori was convicted for impersonating one James Ogbonda in order to gain monetary advantage for himself from unsuspecting victims.
The two suspects pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against them.
Consequently, the Prosecuting Counsel, Joshua Abolarin, prayed the court to invoke Section 270 (9) and (10a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in convicting the offenders. The prosecution also informed the court of the plea agreements dated November 19, 2020, entered by the convicts and the prosecution, and adopted same for the prosecution.
The Defence Counsel, C. N. Nweke raised no objection, but prayed the court to temper justice with mercy during sentencing, because they were first-time offenders.
In his judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Amobeda convicted the accused persons and sentenced them in accordance with the provisions of the extant laws.
“I have considered all the factors, particularly the fact that the convicts are first-time offenders and who have exhibited sincere penitence in the circumstance rather than insist on their inalienable rights to trial. They pleaded guilty, thereby saving taxpayers’ resources and the time of this court,” the Judge said.
They were both sentenced to three months imprisonment each.
While Tamunonengiyeofori was given the option of a fine of N150,000 and ordered to restitute N250,000 to his victim through the prosecution, Oghenetejiri was given the option of fine of N200,000 and was also ordered to restitute the sum of N492,000 to his victim through the prosecution.
The court also ordered that the convicts forfeit every instrument used in committing the crimes to the Federal Government.
Justice Amobeda also ordered the convicts to make an undertaking to the prosecution to be of good behaviour and never to be involved in any form of crime.
The convicts were remanded at the Commission’s facility in Uyo, pending the payment of their fines and restitution.
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