By Matthew Tabe
21-year-old Ifeanyi Egbuwu has confessed to the Lagos state High Court that he used proceeds from Internet fraud to bury his late father.
Egbuwu was arrested on August 2, 2022, by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during a raid on some Internet fraudsters at 42, Ola Williams Street, Kay Farm Estate, Iju, Lagos State.
During the arrest, nothing was recovered from the suspect, who claimed to have recently graduated from Oregun Senior High School.
However, he granted the EFCC access to his email, omohhenry79@gmail, where fraudulent documents were recovered.
The documents were tendered as exhibits before Justice R.A. Oshodi of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos.
Egbuwu also confessed to the anti-graft commission that he profited N500,000 from his fraudulent activities, adding that he bought an iPhone X out of the sum and used some of it for his father’s funeral.
Convicting the defendant who pleaded guilty to one count of possession of fraudulent documents, the judge said, “When asked under oath, the defendant admitted that he benefited N500,000 from his crime. He said that he used N230,000 out of the N500,000 to buy an iPhone X. He also said that he used the proceeds of his crime to buy clothes and for his father’s burial. In criminal law, a defendant’s guilty plea is tantamount to admission of guilt.
“Mr Ifeanyi Favour Egbuwu, I’ve listened to your compassionate plea for mercy. I’m shocked that at the age of 21, you will venture into fraudulent activities. You confessed that you spent over seven days in the commission’s custody. I’m sure that you must have learnt a lesson and do understand the impact of being in custody. It deprives you of your liberties.
“I see that you have expressed remorse and I’m persuaded by the submission of your counsel only to the extent that you are a first-time offender. But I will not allow you to keep any kobo from your criminal proceeds. It is for this reason that I sentence you to imprisonment for one-year with an option of fine in the sum of N300,000 to be paid at the registry of the High Court of Lagos State with 100 hours of community service at the Maximum Custodial Centre, Kirikiri.”
The judge added that his duty during the community service would include barbing of hair since he claimed to be an apprentice at a barbing salon before he ventured into fraud.