A court in Benin, Edo state has sent a truck driver, Christopher Godfirst, 22, and six others to jail.
Justice Efe Ikponwonba of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, convicted and sentenced the suspects to jail for internet fraud.
The others are Raymond Imozemhe, 22,( who impersonated Tom Cruise, a popular Hollywood Star), Christian Okafor, Jimmy Emmanuel, Oritseweyinmi Allen Poto, Osapamwan Destiny Gaius and David Oghneyerivwo Ighere.
Their journey to prison began following their arrest for involvement in internet fraud. The defendants admitted to the crime and were subsequently arraigned on one count charge each bordering on fraudulent impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The charge against Okafor reads: “that you, Christian Okafor (m) sometime in May, 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be one Choi, a citizen of Korea and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 484 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria ( As applicable in Edo State)”.
The charge against Imozemhe reads: “That you, Raymond Imozemhe (m) sometime in 2023 at Ugbor Central GRA, Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud falsely represent yourself to be one Tom Cruise, Hollywood celebrity from the United States of America, in your Scrabble Game account and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 384(1) of the Criminal Law of Edo State Law, 2022”.
Upon arraignment the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges prompting prosecution counsel, Salihu Ahmed, A.S. Bala-Ribah and Al-Amin Abdul Ibrahim to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first time offenders.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Okafor, Imozemhe and Emmanuel to three years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine.
Poto bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of Three Hundred Thousand Naira while Ighere bagged two years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine.
Gaius and Godfirst were sentenced to three years imprisonment or a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira each.
The judge also ordered that the defendants forfeit a Mercedes Benz GLK 350, Lexus ES 350, one black Toyota Camry, mobile phones and a UBA draft of N960,000 being proceeds of crime, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The defendants are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour afterwards.