An Edo State High Court, Benin City on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, has ordered that a Keystone account used by internet fraudsters, (Yahoo Boiz) to facilitate over N120m wire fraud be closed and the proceed should be forfeited to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba ordered the forfeiture of the sum of One Hundred and Twenty Million, Two Hundred and Eighty-Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eight-six Naira, Twenty-eight Kobo, (N120,284,986.28) found in the Keystone bank account of a convicted fraudster, Oghenemine Agbroko to the Federal government of Nigeria through the EFCC for onward delivery to the nominal complainant, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.
Agbroko was among five internet fraudsters convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment for fraud by Justice Ikonmwonba.
The other convicts are Kennedy Uwuigbe, Odiase Osariemen Christian, Collins Edobor, and Ebichuwa Victory Ovie.
They were arraigned separately on one count charge bordering on retention of proceeds of crime, personation, and unlawful possession of fraudulent documents by the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC.
The charge against Agbroko reads: “that you, Jeffrey Oghenemine Agbroko (m) on or about 12th November 2021 in Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did retain the sum of N120,284,986.28 (One Hundred and Twenty Million, Two Hundred and Eighty-Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty-six naira, Twenty Eight Kobo) in your bank account number 6033867739 domiciled in Keystone Bank Ltd knowing that same represent proceeds of your criminal conduct to wit: Cybercrime and thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 17(b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004”.
The charge against Kennedy Uwuigbe reads: “that you, Kennedy Uwuigbe sometimes between 2017 to 4th August 2022 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be Luka Romero, a white man and thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (As applicable in Edo State) 1976.
Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges.
Given their plea, the prosecution counsel, Francis Jirbo, F.O. Dibang, and I.K. Agwai prayed to the court for the defendant to be convicted and sentenced accordingly.
However, the defense counsel, Pascal Ugbome, pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first-time offenders who have become remorseful of their actions.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Agbroko and Collins Edobor to five years in imprisonment with an option of a Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine each.
The trio Uwuigbe, Christian, and Ovie bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira each.
The quartet of Uwuigbe, Christian, Edobor, and Ovie are to forfeit the aggregate sum of N12,322.476.72 and $954.02 worth of Bitcoin, two Mercedes Benz cars, a Toyota Camry car, $2000, and mobile phones, all being proceeds and instruments of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.
The court also ordered that the Keystone bank accounts used in committing the crime to be closed.