Criminal Law

Land scammer gets two years imprisonment in Uyo

Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Wednesday, March 15, 2022, convicted and sentenced Moses Asuquo Effiong to two years imprisonment for obtaining by false pretence.

Effiong was arraigned alongside two others by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 26, 2020, for selling a piece of land belonging to someone else. They had pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge preferred against them. But when the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, March 15, Asuquo changed his plea to  ‘guilty’.  

One of the charges against the defendants reads: “That you Edwin Edet Etim (alias Anietie Udofia Ekanem), Joseph Essien Samuel, Moses Asuquo Effiong (alias Anietie Udofia Ekanem), Ibanga Bassey Bassey (at large) and Paulina Edem (at large) sometime in November 2019 at Uyo within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did conspire among yourselves to commit a felony to wit: obtaining money by false pretence in the sum of N6,000,000 (Six Million Naira) only from Etuk Emmanuel Benjamin as payment for a land at Shelter Afrique Area of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State which pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.

In view of Effiong’s guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, Adebayo Suares urged the court to convict and sentence him, while others continued with the trial.

But Justice Okeke convicted Effiong and sentenced him to two years on each of the two counts, which will run concurrently from the date of his arrest.

Similarly, Justice Okeke convicted and sentenced Kalu Jonathan Uzochukwu a.k.a Kennedy Henry, an internet fraudster, to one-month imprisonment from the date of arrest, without the option of a fine.

Uzochukwu was arraigned by the Commission on March 11, 2022, on a one-count charge bordering on cybercrime and money laundering.

The court also ordered him to restitute the sum of One Hundred and Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Naira(N112, 500.00) which he benefitted from the crime, and forfeit his iPhone 12 to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The charge against him read; “that you ‘Kalu Jonathan Uzochukwu a.k.a Kennedy Henry sometime in February  2022 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did use the sum of N112,500.00 (One Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred Naira only) knowing that the said sum is a proceed of an unlawful act to wit: cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (an amended ) and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.

Uzochukwu was among the internet fraudsters arrested by operatives of the Uyo Zonal Command of the Commission on February 12, 2022 at Nwaniba and Akaa Road, both in Uyo, Akwa Ibom  State.

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