In a landmark judgment on Thursday, June 15th, 2023, Justice E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court delivered a resounding blow against cybercriminals, convicting and sentencing two individuals for their involvement in fraudulent activities.
Harrison Patrick Egileoniso, also known as Nandi Dlamini, and Samuel Promise, who operated under aliases such as Jonica Keating and Almahle Maddison, were found guilty of multiple charges related to obtaining money by false pretenses and cybercrime.
The Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had brought the charges against the defendants, and upon pleading “guilty,” the prosecution counsel, M.T. Iko, urged the court to proceed with conviction and sentencing.
Collins Philip, counsel for the defendants, did not contest the prosecution’s request but appealed to the court for leniency.
Justice Obile ruled in favor of the prosecution, sentencing Harrison Patrick Egileoniso to three years in the Correctional Service.
Count one resulted in a one-year prison term, with the alternative of a One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000.00) fine, while count two carried a two-year sentence or a Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00) fine.
Samuel Promise, on the other hand, received a two-year prison sentence, which could be commuted by paying a Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00) fine.
During the investigation, it was discovered that the convicts were involved in investment and cryptocurrency scams.
They operated various social media accounts to deceive unsuspecting victims and swindle them out of their hard-earned money.
The EFCC apprehended both individuals in April 2022 during a sting operation conducted in the Ada George and Choba areas of Port Harcourt.
As part of the judgment, Justice Obile ordered the forfeiture of the Oppo A96, V207, and black Samsung AO2S smartphones, which were seized from the convicts, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The court’s ruling serves as a stern warning to cybercriminals operating within the country, demonstrating the commitment of law enforcement agencies to combatting fraud and protecting innocent individuals from financial loss.
The EFCC remains steadfast in its pursuit of justice and urges citizens to exercise caution when engaging in online transactions, ensuring they verify the authenticity of investment opportunities and report any suspicious activities promptly.