Court jails varsity student for internet fraud in Port Harcourt

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Justice P. M. Ayua of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State has jailed one Felix Emmanuel Dornubari, a student of the University of Port Harcourt for internet fraud.

Dornubari was prosecuted by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a one-count charge of impersonation in a cybercrime.

The charge reads: “That you, Felix Emmanuel Dornubari, on or about 21st February, 2024, at Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did fraudulently impersonate Robinson Felix Michael, a white male military officer with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime  (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same section of the Act.”

He pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him, upon which prosecution counsel, I. Agwu, tendered some documents with the court and further presented a witness, IE 1, Abdulazeez Jafar, an EFCC operative who testified that the defendant was arrested in February, 2024 via intelligence at Cornerstone area of Choba axis by the operatives of the Commission for alleged internet fraud activities.

Documents tendered by the prosecution included, the statement of the defendant, an iPhone 11 Pro and Tecno Camon mobile devices, and one HP laptop computer, all containing fraudulent documents, a consent to search the devices and incriminating printouts from the devices.

In view of the exhibits tendered and the testimonies of the witness, Agu prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant as charged, while defence counsel,  Paula Abudu prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, stating that the convict was a first-time offender, who had become remorseful and with no previous criminal records. He further urged the court to grant the defendant an option of fine in lieu of imprisonment to enable him continue his education.

Justice Ayua, thereafter, convicted the defendant without any sentence. He ordered the forfeiture of his Tecno Camon to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but held that the convict’s iPhone 11 Pro mobile and HP laptop computer be returned to him.

Investigation revealed that the defendant is involved in a dating scam under false identities on Facebook and Gmail.

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