Justice P.I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced three internet fraud kingpins, Gospel Asawari, Asuquo Daniel Bright and Chile Mark Chioma to one year jail term each for impersonation and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015, and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the same Act.

They were jailed on Thursday, July 20, 2023, after pleading “guilty” to separate one-count charges brought against them by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, K. A. Yunus, A. J. Obagie and A. Abubakar prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants as charged.

Counsel to the defendants, G. N. Chukwu, B. F. Esaenwi and E. S. Aluzu however urged the court to temper justice with mercy.

Justice Ajoku convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year imprisonment each with Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000.00) as option of fine payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Judge also ordered that one Infinix Smart 6 plus, one black iPhone XR, one iPhone 13 Pro Max, the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($150.00USD) and one iPhone 8 mobile device recovered from the convicts be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Court also ordered that the convicts should depose an affidavit of good behaviour.

The convicts were arrested by operatives of the Commission sometime in June 2023 during a sting operation at Rivtaf Golf Estate, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Investigation revealed that the convicts operated various fake social media accounts which they used to defraud mostly foreigners.


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