5 bag jail terms for $1.2m internet scams, seized assets to go to FBI

February 4, 2020
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<!– Chukwuma David Chinaka: one of the five persons convicted for cyber scam today –>

Chukwuma David Chinaka: one of the five persons convicted for cyber scam today

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos has sentenced five persons, Obaro James Omemi, Ehizojie Slyvanus Omokhuale, Eghosa Atekha Osunde, Chukwuma David Chinaka and Quincy Peter Patrick to one year in prison each for various cyber crimes, totalling over $1.2 million.

While Omemi, Omokhulae and Osunde were convicted for an offence bordering on transfer of criminal proceeds to a nominee to the tune of $215,084.75, Chinaka and Peter Patrick, were convicted for $997,400 USD fraud.

The two cases have FBI connection.

In the first case, the trio of Omemi, Omokhuale and Osunde, alongside a company, Seaonus Global Logistics Limited, were first arraigned on November 14, 2019 on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence, retention of proceeds of a criminal conduct and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of $348,277.75 and N817,345,302.00.

The defendants initially pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.

They were re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, February 3, 2020 on an amended one- count charge of transfer of criminal proceeds to a nominee to the tune of $215,084.75, after they changed their plea of “not guilty” to “guilty”.

The charge reads: “That you, Obaro James Omemi, Ehizojie Slyvanus Omokhuale, Eghosa Osunde, between 1st of January 2017 and 27th day of July, 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, retained in your control the aggregate of$215,084.75 (Two Hundred and Fifteen Thousand, Eighty-four Dollars, Seventy-Five cents), in your Guaranty Trust Bank account, which you knew to be proceeds of various internet and cyber crimes.”

During the proceedings, counsel to the prosecution, S.O. Daji, filed a review of the facts and pleaded with court to sentence the defendants according to the terms of the plea bargain filed on November 27, 2019, which included that the second defendant would return the sum of N30m (Thirty Million Naira) within six months of release from custody, while also reporting to the EFCC every month.

Delivering judgment, Justice Taiwo convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year in prison each, with an option of N350,000.00k (Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira).

Justice Taiwo also ordered that the Toyota Prado with registration number EKY-169-EZ, Toyota Highlander with registration number EKY-678-ET, Mercedes Bens C300 with registration number EKY-680-EW,Toyota Camry AKD-228-EA, one Apple Macbook Pro Laptop, one iphone X, one iPhone 6 and the sum of N10,000,000 draft raised in favour of EFCC recovered from the defendants be forfeited to the Federal Government to restitute the victim through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.

In the second case, Chukwuma David Chinaka and Quincy Peter Patrick were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a two-count charge bordering on transfer of criminal proceeds to a nominee to the tune of $997,400 USD, contrary to the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State, 2011.

Count one reads: “That you, Chukwuma David Chinaka, Quincy Peter Patrick, Emeka Clinton Ezenwa (still at large) and Chikezie Okoro ( still at large) sometime in 2017, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, retained in your control, the aggregate sum of $997,400 USD( Nine Hundred and Ninety- seven Thousand, Four Hundred United States Dollars) being proceeds of criminal conduct on behalf of Chukwuma David Chinaka and others at large.”

Count two reads: “That you, Chukwuma David Chinaka, Quincy Peter Patrick, Emeka Clinton Ezenwa (still at large) and Chikezie Okoro (still at large), sometime in 2018, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, retained in your control the aggregate sum of $281,600 USD (Two Hundred and Eighty-one Thousand, Six Hundred United States Dollars) being proceeds of criminal conduct on behalf of Emeka Clinton Ezenwa and others at large.”

The defendants pleaded “guilty” to the charges preferred against them by the prosecution.

In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, S.O. Daji, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.

Delivering her judgment, Justice Taiwo convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year in prison each, with an option of N350,000.00k (Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira).

Justice Taiwo also ordered that a plot of land located in Guzape, Abuja, a four- bedroom massionaette located in Brains and Hammers Estate, Galadimawa, Abuja as well as the sum of $107,850 recovered from the convicts be forfeited to the Federal Government to restitute the victim through the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI.

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