Undergraduate Bags Two Years Jail Term In Port Harcourt

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Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Chika Eguma Ekwodu, an undergraduate student of Rivers State University, to two years imprisonment for impersonation and obtaining money by false pretences.

The undergraduate was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on a two-count charge.

The offence for which Ekwodu was prosecuted contravenes Section 22(2) (b) (ii) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015, and is punishable under Section 22(2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.

One of the count charges read: “That you, Chika Eguma Ekwodu, on the 5th day of June 2023, at Rivtaf Golf Estate Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did fraudulently represent yourself as one Scarlett, a bitcoin trade expert with intent to gain advantage for yourself, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(ii) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.”

Ekwodu pleaded guilty to the two-count charges when they were read to him.

In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, M. Abubakar, after presenting a witness, prayed the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

However, the defence counsel, N. F. Okemini, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, stressing that the defendant “is a first-time offender with no previous criminal records and a student who is currently writing his exams”.

Okemini therefore prayed the court for an option of fine in lieu of imprisonment to enable him continue his education.

Justice Ajoku convicted and sentenced the defendant to one year in the Correctional Service on each count with an option of fine of N200,000 payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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