Court jails barber, one other in Benin city

A 25-year-old barber, Ogudu Matthew and Ajayi Osamuyi were on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, convicted and sentenced to prison by Justice M. Itsueli of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State for internet fraud.

The duo were arraigned on one count charge of impersonation and obtaining by false pretence by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ogudu and Osamuyi’s road to prison began following their arrest based on intelligence linking them to internet-related fraud activities. In the course of the investigation, Osamuyi was discovered to have impersonated Huang Dingxiang, a Chinese national in order to defraud unsuspecting victims

The charge against Ogudu reads: “That you Ogudu Matthew Orukpe (m) on or about the 17th of March 2022 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did take possession of the aggregate sum of N3,295,012.93 (Three Million, Two Hundred and Ninety five Thousand, Twelve Naira and Ninety kobo) which you knew formed part of your unlawful act to wit: internet fraud and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 17(b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004

Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges, prompting the prosecution counsel Salihu Ahmed to ask the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendant pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first time offenders.

Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Ogudu and Osamuyi to three and two years imprisonment respectively with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine. They are also to forfeit their phones and undertake in writing to be of good behaviour.

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