Court Sentence Man To 18 Months In Prison Over Romance Scam
One Mr Chimah Daniel Iweregbu who is said to have been on the wanted list of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been apprehended and handed eighteen months imprisonment.
Naija News understands that Iweregbu was paraded before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on December 4 by the State chapter of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over internet fraud.
It was reported that the suspect was into an online romance scam and had been in the wanted list of the FBI for a while before his arrest. He was, however, arrested by operatives of the EFCC on August 12, 2020, and subsequently arraigned on December 4, 2020, Naija News report.
Iweregbu is said to have pleaded “guilty” to the charges against him, prompting the prosecuting counsel, Franklyn Ofoma, to urge the court to sentence and convict him accordingly.
On his part, in his review of the facts against the defendant, Ofoma told the court that “an investigation of the FBI intelligence report given to the EFCC revealed that he was into an online romance scam.”
He added, “He normally disguised as Captain Larry Pham to defraud his victims, who are mostly females.
“When he was arrested by the EFCC, he admitted his role in engaging in an internet scam.”
Ofoma further revealed that forensic analysis of the suspect’s mobile device and PC revealed indicting documents and other evidence, which he used to perpetrate the $15,000 fraud. Thereafter, Ofoma presented in evidence the documents printed by the EFCC from his mobile phone and computer, the statement he made in the EFCC custody as well as the intelligence report of the FBI, all of which were admitted as exhibits.
Meanwhile, the defence counsel, Z.S. Makinde had pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy, as the convict did not waste the time of the Court and was a first-time offender.
He said, “He is a father of two and his wife just gave birth. He has also shown remorse, and at the time the offence was committed, he, indeed, wanted to marry the white lady.”
On his part, while delivering the judgement following hearings from both sides, Justice Taiwo sentenced Iweregbu to 18 months in prison on each of the three counts to run concurrently, with an option of fine of N100, 000.00 on each count. He also granted the application of the prosecution to forfeit the iPhone and laptop recovered from him to the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal in Abuja dismissed the case filed by Maryam Sanda for lack of evidence.
The court reiterated the verdict of an Abuja High Court, which sentenced her to death by hanging for the murder of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello.