From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of one James Dada Nicup for engaging in internet fraud.

The accused was arraigned before Justice Abdu Dogo at the Federal High Court, sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Wednesday.

He was convicted on a two-count charge bordering on Criminal impersonation with the intent to defraud.

The charge reads:

‘That you, James Dada Nicup between September 2020 to December 2020 in Makurdi within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, unlawfully procured for use a Computer Programme to wit: A WhatsApp group link which you posted on Facebook inviting interested persons to invest in Bitcoin through which you defrauded one Ademu Alexander Inalegwu for an aggregate sum of N111,900.00 (One Hundred and Eleven Thousand Nine Hundred Naira only) thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 28(1)(a) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 28(2) of the same Act.’

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When the charges were read to him, the accused pleaded ‘guilty’, a development which prompted the prosecution counsel, George Chia-Yakua to ask the court to convict him accordingly.

However, the defence counsel, DM Kwaghtser prayed the court to temper justice with mercy saying his client has become remorseful.

Delivering judgement, Justice Dogo convicted and sentenced James to one-year imprisonment on each count with an option of a N50,000 fine on each count.

The judge also ordered First Bank to close the account Number 314166765 he used, and not to allow him open or operate any account within two years.

Also, the court ordered that the total amount in the account should be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, adding that the money should be paid into the same treasury account while all the documents must be presented to the court.