Court convicts 8 Internet fraudsters in Katsina

Justice M. S. Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Katsina, Katsina State, on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, convicted and sentenced Babatunde Falade, Hussaini Salako, Abdulfai Abiodun, Ibrahim Lawal, Salako Hussaini, Aliyu Abubakar, Emeka E. Joseph and Anyalutu Chukudi Promise, to prison for identity theft.

The convicts were arrested around the vicinity of the Federal University, Dutsinma, Dutsinma Local Government Area of Katsina State, following intelligence received regarding their criminal activities.

One of the charges preferred against them reads, “that you “Anyalutu Chukudi Promise sometime in May, 2022 in Dutsinma Local Government Area of Katsina State, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, dishonestly induced the delivery of N200,000 only via an internet user to your Card Tonic Exchanger 101 application using Samsung A 12 Galaxy phone and thereby committed cheating, an offence contrary to section 304 and punishable under section 305 of the Penal Code Law”.

Upon arraignment, all the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges.

In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, Douglas Gift prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.

However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first-time offenders.

Justice Abubakar convicted and sentenced Ekeoma to six months imprisonment with an option of N240,000 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira) fine. Falade, Baba, Lawan, Abubakar, and Hussaini, each bag six months imprisonment or a fine of N100,000, while Abiodun was sentenced to six months imprisonment with option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine. Promise on the other hand was sentenced to nine months imprisonment or a fine of N200, 000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira).

Additionally, the convicts were ordered to forfeit all the instruments used to perpetrate the crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria.