The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on November 9, 2023, secured the conviction and sentencing of Ekwue Joshua Femi to one year imprisonment for defrauding an American, Sheedy Morgan the sum of $20,000 (Twenty Thousand United States Dollars).
He was jailed by Justice O.O. Abike Fadipe of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, upon being arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on two-count charges bordering on impersonation, obtaining under false pretence and money laundering.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Ekwue Joshua Femi, sometime in May, 2023 In Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable, with intent to defraud one Sheedy Morgan, a United States of America citizen, falsely represented yourself to be Mary Lanning Werner’ on your Facebook account and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 380 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”
He pleaded “guilty” to the charges preferred against him when they were read to him.
Following his guilty plea, prosecution counsel, S.I Sulaiman, reviewed the facts of the case. He told the court that the defendant was arrested sometime in September, 2023, at Bana Hotel, Olodi Apapa, Lagos State, following credible intelligence received by the Commission.
According to him, an iPhone 11, iPhone 14 and Mercedes Benz’s ML350 4matic were recovered from him at the point of arrest. “Upon his arrest, he volunteered his statements. Investigations were conducted and forensic evidence were printed out from his phones and his digital assets. In his statement, he confessed to be into spamming and crypto investment fraud. He also confessed to have benefited the sum of $20,000 (Twenty Thousand United States Dollars) from the fraud”, he said.
Sulaiman further tendered in evidence, the defendant’s extrajudicial statements, IPhone 11 and IPhone 14, Mercedes Benz, forensic investigation documents print out and digital assets.
They were all admitted as exhibits by the court.
Justice Fadipe, consequently, convicted and sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment, with an option of fine of N1, 000,000 (One Million Naira only).
The convict’s mobile phones and Mercedes Benz were ordered forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Judge also ordered that the digital assets recovered from the victim be forfeited and returned to the victim, Sheedy Morgan.