An FCT High Court on Monday sentenced five internet fraudsters to three years in prison each for online fraud schemes. The convicts are Karo Ijire, Austin Odili, Elvis Ikechukwu, Kelly Iboyi and Rukeme Ejechi.
Delivering judgment, Justice Muawiyah Baba- Idris ordered that proceeds from the crime and other things associated with it be forfeited to the federal government and the sales from it be returned to the victims. They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission on various cybercrime offence.
The convicts pursuant to plea bargain agreement made individually, with the anti-graft agency, were convicted on their guilty plea. The judge said: “Cyber crimes are flourishing among the youth to the extent that even secondary school students engage in it. “I have read the plea bargain agreement. It is not inconsistent with the court to adopt the agreement intoto. “Courts have a duty to enforce the provisions of the Act under which an accused is charged.”
Mr Baba- Idris said the section in which they were charged which was section 322 provides; “Whoever cheats shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.” He added that it was most appropriate that the prosecuting agencies arraign the accused persons under the prosecution of the right law. Mr Baba-Idris further held that section 270 (11) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act empowers the court to impose heavier punishment other than the one agreed by the parties. NAN