A Federal High Court in Ibadan on Monday convicted and sentenced two internet fraudsters, Abdulsalam Abubakar and Olafuyi Josiah, to nine months imprisonment for impersonating Americans.
In two separate judgments, Justice Patricia Ajoku sentenced the duo after they had each pleaded guilty to the one-count amended charge preferred against them.
Abubakar and Josiah had informed the court that they had entered into a plea bargain arrangement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Ajoku said the judgment was in line with the provisions of Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which made it possible for anyone who entered a plea bargain arrangement to be given a reduced sentence.
She held: “It is my belief that each of the convicts is indeed remorseful and willing to contribute positively to the society.
“Moreover, they are first time offenders and must be given another chance.
“To serve as deterrence however, Abubakar is hereby sentenced to five months in prison, while Josiah is sentenced to four months in jail.
“The sentences start from the date each of them was first arrested.
“All the exhibits found in possession of the duo are hereby forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Earlier, Counsel to the EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, Iyabo Daramola, had told the court that the convicts were each arraigned on a count charge of impersonation.
Daramola further said Abubakar and Josiah separately committed the crime sometimes in 2019 in Ibadan, Oyo State.
She said the convicts were found in possession of documents linking them with cyber crime.
The prosecutor further said Abubakar impersonated as one Sebastian Kushner and Josiah as August Corner to defraud unsuspecting Americans.
She added that the convicts were apprehended with hundreds of United States of American Dollars and Euros, HP laptops and accessories and sophisticated mobile phones with which they carried out their nefarious activities.
According to Daramola, the offence contravenes Section 22A 2(B) of the Cyber Crime Act Prohibition, 2015.