21-Year-Old Internet Fraudster and Seven Others Convicted and Sentenced in Benin City for Online Scam, German Victim to Receive €7,040 in Restitution.
A 21-year-old man named Kennedy Irabor Osasogie, along with seven accomplices, faced justice on August 3, 2023, as they were convicted and sentenced to prison by Justice M. Itsueli of the Edo State High Court in Benin City, Nigeria.
The case came to light after a German citizen named Antje Kdla filed a petition, accusing Osasogie of defrauding her of significant sums of money through online scams. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) conducted investigations and found evidence to support the claims.
The court arraigned the defendants on separate charges related to illegal activities, including possession of fraudulent documents and retention of proceeds from their illicit schemes. All eight defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges during the trial.
The prosecution counsel, F.A. Jirbo, IK Agwai, Al-Amin A. Ibrahim, and Ibrahim Faisal urged the court to convict and sentence the fraudsters accordingly. On the other hand, the defence counsel appealed for leniency, stating that the defendants were first-time offenders who expressed remorse for their actions.
In the sentencing, Justice Itsueli handed Osasogie a three-year prison term, with the option to pay a Three Hundred Thousand Naira fine. Luma, Oneh, Chukwudi, and Kingsley each received three-year prison sentences with a Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine. Osawerinde and Amenze were sentenced to two years in prison or a Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine. Otailegbe, the last defendant, received a one-month prison sentence with a Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine.
As part of the verdict, Justice Itsueli ordered Osasogie to forfeit €7,040, the amount recovered during the investigation, to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC, for eventual restitution to the German complainant, Antje KDLA, through the German Embassy in Nigeria.
Additionally, the court ordered the forfeiture of a Toyota Highlander, a black Toyota Venza, and the balance in the defendants’ Nigerian bank accounts, phones, and laptops, as they were identified as proceeds from their criminal activities.
The charge against Osasogie specified that he had taken possession of N5,988,480.00, which was transferred into his Zenith bank account by accomplices Clifford Irabor, Bawa Agbomer Anthony, and Endurance Nosakhare, knowing that the money represented proceeds of cybercrime, thus violating the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.
This sentencing serves as a significant step in the fight against internet fraud and sends a strong message to those engaged in similar criminal activities that they will face severe consequences for their actions.
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