Justice Deinde I. Dipeolu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Monday, January 22, 2024 convicted and sentenced one Ohaguim Ifeayin Emmanuel to one year imprisonment for dating scam.
Emmanuel, a graduate of Computer Science from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University, Uli, Anambra State , was arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on January 19, 2024, on two-count charges bordering on cybercrime.
One of the counts reads: “ That you, Ohaguim Ifeayin Emmanuel, sometime in October, 2023, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to gain advantage for yourself, fraudulently impersonated one “Benjamin Valdez” by holding yourself out as such on your Google Account and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2) (b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.”
He pleaded “guilty” to the charges when they were read to him. Following his guilty plea, prosecution counsel, A.S. Wara, called on Usman Ahmed, an operative of the EFCC, to review the facts of the case .
Usman told the court that the defendant was arrested sometime in October, 2023, following credible intelligence received by the Commission on the activities of some internet fraudsters operating in Fine County Estate, Orchid Road, Lekki, Lagos State. According to him, an iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone XR, iPhone X and Mercedez Benz C300 were recovered from him at the point of arrest.
“Upon his arrest, he was duly processed and the defendant volunteered his statements. Investigations were conducted and forensic evidence were printed out from his phone. In his statement, he confessed he was into dating scam. Wara further told the court that the defendant confessed to have benefited 950 USD and N3.2m from his involvement in the criminal activity.
Wara ,therefore, sought to tender, in evidence, the defendant’s extrajudicial statements, some items recovered from him: iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone XR, iPhone X and forensic investigation documents print out.
They were all admitted as exhibits by the court.
Justice Dipeolu, consequently, convicted and sentenced him to one year imprisonment, with an option of fine of N200,000( Two Hundred Thousand Naira).
The Judge also ordered that the mobile phones and Mercedes Benz C300 recovered from him be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.