Court Sends Two Fraudsters to Jail in Benin

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Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of the Edo State High Court, Benin City, Edo State on Monday October 17, 2022 convicted and sentenced Austin Okolo and Osayande Osariemen to jail for fraud.

The duo were arraigned by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a separate charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents and personation.

The charge against Osariemen reads:

“that you, Osayande Osariemen sometimes between 2021 and 2022 at Benin-Auchi by-pass, Edo State within the. Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently personate the identity of Lucas Tasmus, a celebrity dancer from Sweden with intent to obtain money from unsuspecting public and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 484 of the Criminal Code Cap 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (as applicable in Edo State) 1976.

Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty prompting the prosecution counsel, KY Bello to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, the defence counsel, B. E. Ambrose pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants have become remorseful for their actions.

Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced Okolo to two years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine while Oseriemen bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira.

The judge ordered that a Lexus RX 350 car, phone, the sum of Three Hundred and Eighty Eight Thousand Naira (N388,000) found in Austin Okolo account domiciled in United Bank for Africa and the balance of N37,394.22 in Zenith Bank account and N3,459 in UBA. account belonging to Oseriemen be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The court ordered that the bank accounts be permanently closed