Justice I.M. Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Sata Owugha Clinton and Bolounmubofa Blessing Soroh to one year imprisonment for impersonation and using the identity of a petitioner to enrol in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s N-POWER Social Welfare scheme.
The convicts were arraigned by the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a one-count charge bordering on impersonation under Section 22(3) (a) of the Cybercrimes Prohibition, Prevention Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22(4) of the same Act.
Clinton and Soroh got into trouble when they used the name and identity of Lovedy Chiamaka Uzor to enrol in the welfare scheme and in the process obtained the sum of N360,000 (Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira only) from the scheme. They were able to open a bank account in the name of Uzor because she also applied for the scheme, but stopped her application mid-way, fearing that the scheme may be a scam.
The convicts capitalized on this and completed the enrolment processes in the victim’s name. The victim got wind of their fraudulent activities when she contacted her bank and found out that the convicts were already receiving payments from the scheme in her name.
The charge reads: “That you, Sata Owugha Clinton and Bolounmubofa Blessing Soroh on or about the 10th of October, 2017 at Zenith Bank within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate one Loveday Chiamaka Uzor with intent to gain advantage for yourselves thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(3) (a) of the Cybercrimes prohibition, Prevention Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22(4) of the same Act.”
They pleaded “guilty” to the charge. In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, Alao Rashidat, prayed the court to sentence the defendants for the offence of impersonation accordingly as contained in the Cybercrimes Prohibition, Prevention Act.
Justice Sani, thereafter, convicted and sentenced them to one year in prison