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An Internet Fraudster In Lagos Goes To Jail 



The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday,  March 21, 2024, secured the conviction and sentencing of one Ndifreke Okon, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.


Okon was arraigned on a one-count charge bordering on Internet fraud, under Section 22 (3) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015.


The charge reads: “That you Ndifreke Edem Okon (aka Binh Nguyen) on the 7th day of December, 2023 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court directly made a false statement wherein you held yourself out as BINH NGUYEN in your Instagram account knowing same to be false and with intent that the representation is relied upon for the purpose of procuring the issuance of financial instrument to yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22 (3) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015.”


He pleaded “guilty” to the charge when it was read to him.


In view of his guilty plea,  prosecuting counsel, A.O. Mohammed sought to review the facts of the case through the investigating officer, Mustapha Farouq Umar.


Umar told the court that the defendant was arrested on December 5, 2023, at Ajah, Lagos, following an intelligence report on the activities of an Organised Cybercrime Syndicate Network (OCSN) operating in that axis.


Testifying further, he told the court that Okon in his statement to the EFCC, confessed to being into a dating scam by representing himself to unsuspecting victims as a white man from Vietnam known as Binh Nguyen. “Upon his arrest, an iPhone X, Tecno spark 5 and HP laptop were recovered from him,” he said.


Mohammed, thereafter, sought to tender in evidence, the statements, and all the items recovered from him.


Justice Aneke admitted and marked them as exhibits and then the trial judge declared him guilty as charged.

Defence counsel, Oludare Odetoki, prayed the court for leniency, appealing to the court to temper justice with mercy, considering his status as a first-time offender, and  remorse for his actions.

Justice Aneke sentenced him to one year imprisonment with an option of fine of N1.5million and 100 hours community service.

The Judge also ordered the forfeiture of the items recovered from him to the Federal Government.

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