Justice M. S. Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Katsina, Katsina State, delivered a significant verdict on August 1, 2023, as Babatude Falade, Hussaini Salako, Abdulfai Abiodun, Ibrahim Lawal, Salako Hussaini, Aliyu Abubakar, Emeka E. Joseph, and Anyalutu Chukudi Promise were convicted and sentenced to prison for identity theft.
The arrest of the convicts took place near the Federal University, Dutsinma, Dutsinma Local Government Area of Katsina State, following intelligence received about their involvement in criminal activities.
One of the charges brought against them reads, “That you, Anyalutu Chukudi Promise sometime in May 2022 in Dutsinma Local Government Area of Katsina State, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, dishonestly induced the delivery of N200,000 only via an internet user to your Card Tonic Exchanger 101 application using Samsung A 12 Galaxy phone and thereby committed cheating, an offence contrary to section 304 and punishable under section 305 of the Penal Code Law.”
During their arraignment, all the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges.
In light of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Douglas Gift, requested the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
However, the defendants’ counsel pleaded with the court to show leniency, highlighting that they were first-time offenders.
Justice Abubakar delivered the sentences as follows: Ekeoma received six months imprisonment with an option of an N240,000 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira) fine. Falade, Baba, Lawan, Abubakar, and Hussaini each received six months imprisonment or a fine of N100,000. Abiodun was sentenced to six months imprisonment with the option of a Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine. Promise, on the other hand, received a nine-month imprisonment sentence or a fine of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira).
Furthermore, the convicts were ordered to forfeit all instruments used to perpetrate the crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
This verdict stands as a significant achievement in the fight against identity theft and internet fraud, demonstrating the commitment of the Federal High Court to uphold justice in Katsina.
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