Justice A.A. Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on June 25, 2019, convicted and sentenced one Victory Ogidama to two years imprisonment for fraudulently obtaining N286,000 in the guise of granting his victim admission at the Nigeria Maritime University, Delta State.
The convict was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a one-count charge, bordering on obtaining money by false pretence.
Ogidama alongside three others, Fatai Musa, Jimoh Musa, and Aliyu Enero Sunday, all at large, had in July 2018, conspired and sent out an online admission advert to their victim, Moses Okoi Eteng, purporting that the said letter originated from the Nigeria Maritime University and signed by one Dr. Stella Emeka, portrayed as the Coordinator.
Upon receipt of the email, Eteng quickly made contact with the mobile phone number provided therein. Following subsequent communications, he was promised admission into the University, to study Marine Engineering.
Eteng, thereafter, made payments of N150,500 into Fatai’s First Bank account and N123,000 into the Ogidama’s Ecobank account, after filling out the fake admission forms they gave him.
Having successfully defrauded him, Ogidama and his cohorts issued a forged letter of provisional admission to Eteng, and advised him to proceed to the University for registration.
Innocently, Etang, armed with the forged documents, proceeded to the University, only to find out that the letters were forged and that he had been duped. He subsequently took his cry to the EFCC.
The charge for which Ogidama was convicted for, reads: “That you, Segun Victory Ogidama “M”, Fatai Musa “M” (at large), Jimoh Musa “M” (at large) and Aliyu Enero Sunday “M” (at large), on or about July 2018 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, did fraudulently send electronic messages to Moses Okoi Eteng under the pretence that you are the Coordinator of Nigeria Maritime University, by name Dr. Stella Emeka who would give him admission to study Marine Engineering if he paid the sum of N286,000 (Two Hundred and Eighty-six Thousand Naira) only to you, which he paid, and which pretence you knew to be false, in order to gain advantage from same falsehood, and thereby committed an offence contrary to provisions of Section 14 (2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Act.”
Ogidama pleaded “guilty” to the count, and in view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Nwandu Ukoha, prayed the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
Justice Okeke, thereafter, convicted him and sentenced him to two years imprisonment taking effect from the date of his arrest. He was also ordered to pay a restitution fee of N123,000 to the victim, after serving jail term.