Fake CBN governor jailed for three years

JUSTICE Agatha Anulika Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has sentenced Onyebuchi Julius Nwalozie, who faked as Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, jail for N4.5m Fraud on Friday, February 14

He was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment without an option of fine.

Nwalozie was arraigned by the Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a one-count charge, bordering on impersonation and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N4.5 million.

His journey to jail began on December 6, 2019, when he was arrested by the operatives of Uyo Zonal Office of the Commission, based on reliable intelligence on the activities of internet fraudsters, operating in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Upon arrest, the convict confessed to the crime and forensic analysis of the HP laptop recovered from him further implicated him as several incriminating documents of false pretence and fraudulent extortions were printed from his laptop which he also admitted, emanated from him.

The investigation also revealed that the convict’s specialty was Business Email Compromise, BEC, and his modus operandi involved searching for email addresses via Google search and sending convincing emails to his victims.

He also confessed to have used a particular email address, (emefielegodwin586@yahoo.com) purportedly belonging to Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, in defrauding one Omar Deep, who thought he was actually dealing with the real CBN Governor.

The one-count charge against the convict reads: “That you, Nwalozie Onyebuchi Julius (alias Dr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria) on or about 26th day of August 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, fraudulently impersonated one Dr. Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria by using email address: emefielegodwin586@yahoo.com, with intent to obtain money, property or any advantage from one Omar Deep and other unsuspecting persons, the pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (ii) of the Cybercrime (Provision, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.”

He pleaded guilty to the charge, prompting Joshua Abolarin, the prosecuting counsel to pray the court to review the facts of the case through a prosecution witness, Haliru Abubakar Bagudo, an operative of the EFCC.

While reviewing the facts of the case, the prosecution tendered various exhibits through Bagudo, which were admitted in evidence.

Consequently, Abolarin prayed the court to invoke Section 274 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA and convict the defendant in view of the evidence adduced and the plea of the defendant.

In his judgment, Justice Okeke said she was satisfied with the evidence before the court that then the defendant was guilty as charged.

“Prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Nwalozie committed the offence as charged. I, therefore, convict you accordingly. The court equally takes cognizance of the spree with which fraudsters defraud innocent citizens and therefore sentence you Nwalozie Onyebuchi Julius to three years imprisonment with effect from the date of your arrest.”

Additionally, the convict forfeited his Hp laptop, which was his instrument of crime as well as the N1 million recovered from him to the Federal Government.

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