Court jails ‘Yahoo boy’ who destroyed own iPhones, MacBook on sighting EFCC operatives

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The Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it has secured the conviction and sentencing of one Aniche Ezenwa Francis to six months imprisonment for internet fraud before Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.

The commission disclosed this in a statement early Saturday.

According to the statement, the convict was arrested on August 21, 2020, during an early morning operation by operatives of the EFCC within Rodivan Homes on No. 11/12, Ayo Babatunde Crescent, off Oniru Market, Lekki, Lagos.

The commission said that at the point of arrest, Aniche had destroyed his iPhone 6, iPhone 11 and MacBook Pro laptop by throwing them into a water tank when he sighted operatives of the EFCC.

“When he was subsequently arraigned on December 10, 2020, on a three-count charge of willful damage to property, an offence contrary to Section 349 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, Ezenwa initially pleaded “not guilty” to the charge and the matter was adjourned for trial.

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“However, on January 13, 2021, the prosecution brought an amended information before the court, to which the defendant “pleaded guilty”.

“In view of his guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, Ahmed Yerima, reviewed the case before the court, tendered evidence and also urged the court to sentence the defendant accordingly.

“Justice Solebo found him guilty of the offence and sentenced him to six months imprisonment, with an option of fine of N250, 000.00(Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira).

“The Judge further held that the mobile devices, a MacBook Pro and a Toyota Corolla recovered from him be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the statement read in part.

In a related development, Justice Solebo also convicted and sentenced an internet fraudster, Quadri Oladele, also known as Devere Walter, to six months imprisonment.

The commission said that Oladele was arraigned on December 10, 2020, on a two-count charge bordering on possession of documents containing false pretext, after he was arrested on March 7, 2020, by operatives of the EFCC around Ebute Igbodu Road, Ikorodu, Lagos.

He pleaded “guilty” to the charge.

Consequently, the prosecution counsel, Yerima, reviewed the facts, tendered evidence and also prayed the court to convict the defendant accordingly.

Delivering her judgment on January 11, 2021, Justice Solebo convicted Oladele and sentenced him to six months imprisonment on counts one and two, which would run concurrently from the date of conviction.

Judge Solebo, however, gave the convict an option of fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) on each of the counts.

The Judge also ordered that the iPhone recovered from the convict be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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