Corruption and Underdevelopment

Court convicts two fraudsters in Makurdi

By Paul Michael

Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has convicted and sentenced two internet fraudsters, Adikpo Diamond Aondover and Mathew Itodo Onyilo.

The convicts were jailed after being arraigned in court by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for charges bothering on obtaining money through false pretense.

Aondover and Onyilo were jailed on Monday, 29th August, 2022, after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge preferred against them by the anti-graft commission.

fraudsters

The charge against Aondover reads: “That you, Adikpo Diamond Aondover, sometime in 2021 at Makurdi, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently impersonated one Elliott Winston Diamond from Worcester, Massachusetts, (United States of American Citizen) via your mobile No. 08084695597 and 07088598890 with intent to gain advantage to yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2)(b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the same Act”.

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The charge against Onyilo reads: “That you, Mathew Itodo Onyilo sometime in June 2022 in Otukpo Benue State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently impersonated one Harold Marlar through his Instagram username with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under subsection (iv) of the same Act”.

They both pleaded “guilty” to the charge when it was read to them.

Following their pleas, prosecution counsels, Mary Onoja and M. Yusuf, respectively reviewed the facts of the cases before the court, while praying that the convicts be sentenced accordingly.

In his judgment, Justice Muhammed sentenced Aondover to one year imprisonment, with an option of fine in the sum of N400,000.00.

Onyilo was also sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of fine in the sum of N400,000.00.

Also, his iPhone 7 used in committing the crime was forfeited to Federal Government of Nigeria while the two bank accounts used by the convicts to access funds were closed by the court.

The two convicts started their journey to the Correctional Centre when they were arrested by operatives of the Makurdi Zonal Command of the EFCC for impersonating foreigners and defrauding their victims through false claims.

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