The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has secured the conviction of five internet fraudsters for offences bordering on impersonation and cybercrime. They were sentenced and convicted by Justice A.S. Amobeda of a Federal High Court, sitting in Calabar, Cross River State on July 4, 2019. The convicts are: Michael Edward, Ahunwan Endurance, Ahunwan Frank, Patrick Edos and Esi Harrison. Their journey to jail began when operatives of the EFCC Uyo Zonal Office acted on intelligence report indicting them of their involvement in internet fraud. The Operatives later raided their hideout in Calabar where they were arrested on June 20, 2019. After the conclusion of investigations, they were charged to court on separate charges for their various involvements in defrauding their victims who were mainly foreigners, using false identities. Edward disguised as “Mark James” on the internet, while Endurance used a false identity as “Jacob Sandars”. Frank used the pseudo-name “Williams Robert”, Edos posed as “Mack Williams”. Harrison, a 19-year-old Secondary School Student, SS3, disguised as “Dr. Richard Mark”. They all pleaded “guilty” to the one-count charge, each filed against them. Following their guilty plea, counsel for the EFCC, J.O. Aboderin, informed the court of the plea bargain agreement between the prosecution and the defence, and prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. Subsequently, Edward, Endurance, Frank, and Edos were each convicted on the one-count charge against them, and were sentenced to six months in prison each with an option of fine of N50,000. Harrison, who expressed remorse for his action said he was forced to the act in order to raise money to pay for his WAEC fees, because his parents could not afford it. He was also convicted on the one-count charge preferred against him, and sentenced to one month in prison with an option of fine of N5,000.
by Linda Ikeji