Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced two internet fraudsters Efemene Philip Okoloko and Ugbo Donaldson, to various jail terms in for Impersonation, contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.
They were jailed on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, after pleading “guilty” to separate one Count Charge preferred against them by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Charge against Okoloko reads: “That you, Efemene Philip Okoloko (aka Brian Maxwell) sometime in September, 2022 in Warri, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate one Brian Maxwell on Telegram with username I’m Awesome and phone number +1412-945-0720 with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2) (b) of the same Act”.
The charge against Donaldson reads: “That you, Ugbo Donaldson (aka Linda Hyung, Malone Henrike) on or about 25th July, 2022 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court fraudulently impersonated Linda Hyung with intent to unlawfully gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 22(2) (b)(i) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 22(2)(iv) of the same Act”.
They pleaded “guilty” to the charges preferred against them by the prosecution.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, O. Amechi and C. M. Asuzu prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.
Counsel to the defendants, F. A. Bigha and N. D. Nwonkwo urgeded the court to temper justice with mercy as they were first time offenders, with no previous criminal records.
Justice Ajoku convicted and sentenced Okoloko to one year in prison with an option of fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000.00) fine; while Donaldson was sentenced to two years with Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000.00) fine.
The Judge also ordered that, one lback Apple iPhone , ash colour iPhone 6S, one black itel phone, one black Asus laptop and one iPhone 7 recovered from the convicts arrest be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The convicts are also to depose an affidavit of good behaviour before the court.
Okoloko and Donaldson were arrested by operatives of the Commission, sometimes in July and September, 2022 at Adesa Ughonton, Jedda, Delta State and Dukobo Street, Corner Stone, Ozouba area of Port Harcourt, River State during an operation code-named, Eagle Sweep for fraudulent internet activities.