The Nigerian legal system has once again brought to book a fraudster who impersonated a Nollywood actor, Ninalowo Bolanle, and used the actor’s identity to commit fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) confirmed via Twitter that the fraudster, Omoghan Igbinosa, has been sentenced to two years in prison for his crime, News About Nigeria reports.
The sentence was handed down by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Edo State, on Friday, February 17, 2023. Igbinosa had pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him, and the court, in response, convicted and sentenced him accordingly.
According to the charge, Igbinosa committed the offence between 2021 and 2022 in Benin, Edo State, by impersonating the identity of Ninalowo Bolanle and sending fraudulent documents to one Newon Quanon via the internet. The intention of Igbinosa was to gain an advantage for himself by using the identity of the famous actor.
The fraudulent act committed by Igbinosa is a violation of section 22 (2) (b) (i) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention, etc.) Act 2015 and punishable under section 22(2) (b) (IV) of the same Act.
During the trial, the prosecution counsel, I. M. Elodi, requested that the court convict and sentence Igbinosa accordingly. On the other hand, the defence counsel, A. J. Onwuanaje and Dickson Egberume, pleaded with the court to show mercy, stating that their client was remorseful for his actions.
Justice Abang, in his ruling, sentenced Igbinosa to two years in prison or a fine of One Million Naira. In addition, the defendant is to forfeit the sum of $2,235.00 and his mobile phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The sentence handed down to Igbinosa should serve as a warning to others who engage in identity theft, online impersonation and other forms of cyber fraud. Cybercrime has been on the rise in recent years, and this sentence shows that the government is taking the issue seriously and will prosecute those caught in the act. It is important for individuals to be vigilant when sharing personal information online and to report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.