A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced one Uzoma Izuchukwu to two years imprisonment.
The spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
According to him, Justice Emmanuel Obile sentenced Izuchukwu on Wednesday for impersonating an American, Jefferson Stewart, to dupe his unsuspecting victims.
Izuchukwu was jailed after he pleaded guilty to a count bordering on impersonation and obtaining money by false pretence.
Uwujaren noted that the crime was committed contrary to Section 22(3) (a) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015, and was punishable under Section 22(4) of the same Act.
The charge read, “That you Uzoma Franklyn Izuchukwu (a.k.a Jefferson Stewart) sometimes between 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate one Jefferson Stewart with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 22(3) (a) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 22(4) of the same Act”.
Following his plea, the prosecuting counsel, N. Dodo, urged the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
The defence counsel, M. Suleiman, however, pleaded for mercy and informed the court that Izuchukwu was a first-time offender and has no previous criminal records.
In his ruling, Justice Obile convicted and sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment in a correctional service with an option of a fine of N500,000.
He also ordered that the phone and laptop linked with the crime should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Izuchukwu’s journey to the correctional service started when some verified intelligence of the EFCC spotted him for internet-related activities.
Investigations carried out by the anti-graft agency showed that the Imo State-born was using the identity of an American, Jefferson Steward, to defraud his victims.