Court sentences internet fraud academy proprietor to 10 years in prison

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The convict 

The Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction and sentence of the proprietor of Uyo Cybercrime Training Centre, Ikemesit Edet ((a.k.a Hustle Kingdom HK).

He was jailed after pleading guilty to a two-count charge bordering on impersonation, love scam, hacking/editing of social media accounts and private criminal tutoring.

The convict was earlier arraigned by the Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC.

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Count one reads: That you IKEMESIT EDET IK sometime in January, 2024 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court, being the occupier and a person concerned with the management of the premises situates and lying at No. 57 D-Line, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo Akwa Ibom State, did knowingly permit the use of the entire aforesaid premises as a CYBERCRIME ACADEMY, also known as Hustle Kingdom (HK) where you recruited ten (10) young Nigerians between ages 16-25 and taught them cybercrime techniques for perpetrating cyber crimes to wit: hacking, impersonation, and obtaining money by false pretence (Advance Fee Fraud) and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 3 of the same Act.

Count two reads: That you IKEMESIT EDET IK between May 2020 and December 2023 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did take possession of a total sum of Fifteen Million Naira Only (-N=15,000,000.00) which you knew formed proceed of an unlawful act to wit: Cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(2)\d) of the Money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2022 and punishable under Section 18(3) of the same Act.

After pleading guilty to both charges preferred against him by the Commission, prosecution counsel, Joshua Abolarin prayed  the court to convict and sentence Edet  accordingly.

He also prayed the court to order the forfeiture of all exhibits recovered from him at the point of arrest.

However, defence counsel Francis Ezike prayed the court to be lenient in sentencing the defendant.

Delivering judgment after listening to both counsel, the trial judge, Justice Ojukwu convicted Edet and sentenced him to five years jail term on each count, with an option of fine of N2,000,000 (Two Million Naira) on each count.

The court also ordered that all recovered exhibits from the convict be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The exhibits included: 13 laptops, a gold- coloured Toyota Corolla, a Lexus Jeep RX 300 and about 3,080.25 square metres of land located at Ibiaku Obio Ndobo Village, Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Edet’s journey to prison commenced on January 22, 2024, when investigators from the EFCC’s office in Uyo acted on intelligence and arrested 10 suspects at his Cybercrimes Training Centre at D-Line Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo.

All the suspects have been charged to court and convicted.

In a related development, the same court convicted and sentenced one Michael Melvin Onyekachi (alias ‘Raisa Pedroso’) for being in possession of fraudulent documents.

He pleaded ‘guilty’ to the one- count charge preferred against him, and was immediately convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of fine of N50, 000.00 (Fifty Thousand Naira).

The lone-count charge reads: That you Michael Melvin Oyedikachi sometime in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court fraudulently presented yourself as Raise Pedroso on Facebook social media platform with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(I) of the Cyber crimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2)(b(iv) of the same Act.

He bagged his imprisonment when he was arrested for internet-related fraud. He was charged to court and convicted.

 

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