Court Orders Yahoo Boy to Clean EFCC Premises for Two Weeks

A student, Istifanus Irmiya, who was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for internet fraud, has been ordered by the FCT High Court in Gwagwalada to clean the premises of the anti-graft agency for two weeks.

Irmiya was charged by the EFCC on a two-count charge of cheating and impersonation.

He pleaded guilty to the charges and begged the court for leniency.

Justice Aliyu Shafa, who delivered the judgment on Thursday, convicted and sentenced Irmiya to clean the commission’s premises from 9am to 12 noon daily for two weeks.

Shafa also ordered Irmiya to pay a fine of N100,000.

He ordered that the phone used by the convict to perpetuate the crime be burnt.

The judge said that he considered the plea of allocutus made by the convict and his defence counsel, as well as the fact that he was a first-time offender and had restituted the proceeds of crime which was 250 Euros.

“I have carefully listened to the plea of allocutus made by the convict and the defence counsel.

“The rate of internet fraud through Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, among others in society is so alarming. That he is a first-time offender is not an excuse to go scot-free.

“The rate of Yahoo-Yahoo among youths is alarming. “Many who resort to crime always have the ‘I want to get rich quick’ mindset. Sending him to prison might make him more hardened,” the judge ruled.

However, he said that he could not let him go scot-free because of the increasing rate of internet fraud among youths in Nigeria, which has damaged the country’s international standing and affected its ability to get international support.

He said that sending him to prison might make him more hardened, hence he decided to give him a community service sentence.

Earlier, the convict pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, adding that he would not indulge in such acts again.

“I want to beg the court for mercy. I’m deeply sorry for what I have done. I’m a changed person now knowing fully well the consequences of my offence,” he said.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Chibuike Chima, in support of the allocutus by the convict, told the court that Irmiya had no previous conviction record and was also remorseful.

“Irmiya is the only son of the family and he is seeking admission into the university. He has spent one month in EFCC custody.

“The convict has shown remorse and genuinely repented over the crime he has committed by way of expressing genuine repentance, he has restituted the proceeds of crime which is the sum of 250 Euros.

“The convict is a first-time offender. He has not been convicted for any other crime of whatever kind. We urge my lord to temper justice with mercy.

“We assure this court that going forward, the convict will be of good behaviour,” Chima pleaded.

The EFCC counsel, Ms Taiwo Aromolaran, told the court that Irmiya had sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of the court cheated by impersonation.

Aromolaran said that the convict deceived his victim while pretending to be one mistress Clara, a female Caucasian.

She said the convict carried out an illegal act, making one Alex Lexis, a German, send him the sum of 250 Euros which he received via PayPal and Nosh Apps before transferring to his own account domiciled with Polaris Bank.

She said the convict sometime in 2022, also had in his possession documents containing false-pretence, where he represented himself as a German on his Facebook and KK accounts, created by him with the intent to induce Alex Lexis to deliver money to him.

She said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 321 of the Penal Code Act of the Federation (Abuja), 1990 and is punishable under Section 324 of the same Act.

Also, Section 6 in conjunction with Section 8 of the advance-fee fraud and other related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

She pleaded with the court that the cell phone being the instrument used for the crime should be forfeited.

Aromolaran urged the court to take into consideration the effects of internet fraud on Nigeria’s economy, security and reputation. She said that internet fraudsters operated as syndicates and used anonymity as a shield.

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Patrick Odey

Patrick Odey, a native of Benin, Edo State. He studied the English Language at the University of Benin, Edo State. He is a Blogger Contact:

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