A Federal High Court in Benin, Edo State, has sentenced a middle-aged man, Onovo Malachy, to 12 months imprisonment for internet love scam through which he duped a female foreigner of $140,000
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the convict on a one-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence.
EFCC spokesperson, Tony Orilade, in a statement on Sunday, said Mr Malachy pleaded “guilty” to the charge. Based on the plea, the prosecuting counsel, Larry Peters, prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly.
The charge reads: “That you Onovo Osita Malachy on or about 4th day of July 2017 in Benin Edo State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did by means of fraudulent trick to wit: love scam on a dating site obtained the sum of $140,000 only from Helen Wang and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 421 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria,2004.”
The defence counsel, I. U. Uchechukwu, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendant “has become remorseful”.
Justice A. A. Demi-Ajayi in his judgment sentenced Mr Malachy to 12 months imprisonment. The convict will also forfeit all asset traced to him, including an uncompleted building and a Toyota Camry 2007 model, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.