The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, in Uyo on Friday arraigned two fraudsters before Justice Simon Amobeda of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River state.
The convicts; Okanezi David Tamunonengiyeofori and Unuafe Robert Oghenetejiri, were convicted on a separate one-count charge bordering on impersonation and obtaining by false pretence.
Their journey to prison started when Oghenetejiri fraudulently obtained the sum of N492, 000.00 (Four hundred and ninety two thousand naira) 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 duo pleaded “guilty” to the charges preferred against them.
In view of their guilty pleas, 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 equally informed the court of the plea agreements dated November 19, 2020, entered by the guilty duo and the prosecution, and adopted same for the prosecution.
The defence counsel, C. N. Nweke raised no objection, but prayed the court to tamper justice with mercy during sentencing, because, according to him, they were first time offenders.
Delivering judgement, the presiding Judge, Justice Amobeda convicted the accused persons and sentenced them accordingly, 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 tax payers resources and the time of this court”, the Judge said.
They were both sentenced to 3months imprisonment each. While Tamunonengiyeofori was given the option of a fine of N150,000.00 and ordered to restitute N250,000.00 to his victim through the prosecution, Oghenetejiri was given the option of fine of N200,000.00 and was also ordered to restitute the sum of N492,000.00 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.
They have been remanded at the Commissions facility in Uyo, pending the fulfilment of their fines and restitutions.