An FCT High Court, in Gwagwalada, Abuja on Wednesday sentenced a man, Abeyi Oghenenyerhovwo, to one year imprisonment for internet fraud.
Oghenenyerhovwo was docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for creating a fake user name which he used to facilitate the sale of stolen bitcoin.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court for leniency.
Delivering judgment, Justice Aliyu Shafa, sentenced Oghenenyerhovwo to one year imprisonment or to pay a fine of N250,000.
Shafa ordered that the convict should enter a bond of good behaviour for two years.
“I will accept the plea of allocutus made by the said convict.
“The dimensions Yahoo scammers are going is sadly dangerous which the court will not close it’s eyes seeing the society heading to where our children will or cannot be controlled.
“The plea was to give the convict a fine or community service in accordance with the provision of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
“The reason being that the convict is now a changed person, I shall bent backward in sentencing the convict,” he ruled.
Earlier, the convict had pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, adding that he would not indulge in such act again.
“I want to beg the court for mercy, am deeply sorry for what I have done, am a changed person now knowing fully well of the consequences of my offence.
“I am a married man and have a son, I don’t intend my son growing up and seeing me in this kind of act, I want the court to tamper justice with mercy,” he said.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Suleiman Mohammed, in support of the allocutus by the convict, told the court that Oghenenyerhovwo, who had no previous conviction record in Nigeria was remorseful and repentant.
“Oghenenyerhovwo, is now a changed person. We urge my Lord in sentencing to sentence the convict to non custodial sentence.
“The justice of the court is not only punitive but informatory, we urge the court to either grant the convict a fine or community service,” he pleaded.
The EFCC Counsel, S.N. Robert, told the court that Oghenenyerhovwo sometimes in 2022 within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court cheated by personation.
Robert said that the convict created a fake username: [email protected] and sent it to one access platform and facilitated the sale of stolen Bitcoin to fraudsters which the convict benefited 1000 U.S dollar.
He said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 321 of the Penal Code Act Law of the Federation (Abuja), 1990 and punishable under Section 324 of the same Act.