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Two internet fraudsters jailed in Lagos

Justices Deinde Dipeolu and N. Ogazi of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos have convicted and sentenced two internet fraudsters, Oluwafemi Abdulwaheed Rasaq and Chris Onabulu to various jail terms for romance scam and impersonation.

They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charges bordering on cyber crimes upon being arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The count against Rasaq reads, “That you, Oluwafemi Abdulwaheed Rasaq sometime between January and September 2023 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court fraudulently impersonated one Amanda Valery Malpica by holding yourself out as such on your Facebook and Instagram App, with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.”

The count against Onabulu reads: “That you, Chris Onabulu on or about the 10th day of October, 2023, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to gain advantage for yourself, fraudulently impersonated one ‘Anthony Hodge, ‘ a white male from Florida, United States of America, by holding yourself out as such to Sharon Lebec via email correspondence and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.”

They both pleaded guilty to the charges when they were read to them.
Based on their pleas, prosecution counsels C.C. Okezie and Z.B. Atiku prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

However, defence counsel, Cookel George prayed the court for a non-custodial sentence, “like community service, to be served within the EFCC, to enable him change from his ways and still be a useful citizen to the nation”.

Justice Dipeolu convicted and sentenced Rasaq to four weeks of community service with the EFCC, “where he is to be counselled and assisted on how to refrain from a life of crime”.

He was also ordered to forfeit to the Federal Government of Nigeria, items recovered from him, including a manager’s cheque.

Justice Ogazi also convicted and sentenced Onabulu to six months imprisonment, with an option of a fine of N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira only). The court also ordered that the items recovered from him be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The two convicts bagged their imprisonment when they were arrested by operatives of the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC for internet-related crimes. They were investigated, charged to court and convicted.



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