The Federal High Court, sitting in Benin, Edo State has sentenced one Emmanuel Eromonse Akhalu, a member of an internet fraud syndicate, to 12 months imprisonment on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence.
The convict was arrested on the 27th August, 2015 by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, following an intelligence report on how he had defrauded one foreigner of 1500 US Dollars in the United Kingdom.
He was subsequently arraigned on the 12th November, 2015, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him by the EFCC.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, January 28, 2016 secured the conviction of counts one
However, when trial commenced on 27th January, 2016, the defence counsel, A.O.Obodo, sought a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution counsel, R. Ikhanaede.
Consequently, the prosecution applied to the court to strike out counts one and three of the charges, leaving only count two, which the defendant pleaded guilty to.
The charge reads: ‘‘That you Emmanuel Eromosele Akhalu(alias Bryan Perry) and others (now at large) on or about the 20th of July, 2015 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of 1500 US Dollars from one James Sindelar in the United Kingdom through Western Money Union Transfer under the false pretence that you are a barrister soon to be conferred Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN),
A pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”