Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of the Edo State High Court in Benin City, Edo State, on Thursday convicted and sentenced Franklin Ozoma to two years imprisonment for internet fraud.
Ozoma was jailed after pleading guilty to one- count charge of impersonation upon his arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The charge read: “that you Franklin Ozoma (M) ( a.k.a Frank Donald) between 2021 and 2022 at Igbobadia Street, near Ukwa Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did fraudulently personate the identity of Frank Donald, a citizen of United States of America with intent to obtain money from the unsuspecting public and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 484 of the Criminal Code Cap 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (as applicable in Edo State ) 1976.”
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, K.Y. Bello prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly. However, counsel to the defendant, Nwaozor, H.A pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as “the defendant is a first-time offender and has become remorseful for his actions”
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Ozoma to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N100, 000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira). He was also ordered to forfeit iPhone 6 used in perpetrating the crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Ozoma’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when he was arrested by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC. He was investigated and found liable to prosecution for impersonation. He was eventually convicted by the court.