22- year-old Abuja based beer parlour attendant, Olorunwa Emmanuel, aka Zhang Wei has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without option of fine by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The convict confessed to impersonating a Thailand based Chinese contractor, Mr Zhang Wei to defraud two innocent Chinese citizens of Y13,000 Yuan.
The fake Chinese contractor who hails from Modakeke town in Osun State, bagged the jail term upon admitting guilty to the cybercrime offences brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja sentenced the convict to Kuje prison in Abuja without option of fine to serve as deterrent to others.
EFCC through its counsel, Mrs Bamidele Akanmode had brought 2- count charges against the convict who claimed to be an attendant at a popular beer parlour in Mpape area of the capital city.
When the charges were read to him, the convict immediately pleaded guilty.
He claimed to have come from Modakeke to Abuja to hustle and struggle for work and means of livelihood, adding that he joined the gang of cybercrime offenders in the year 2020 from his beer selling work.
In the charge, the convict was said to have in 2020 fraudulently impersonated one Mr Zhang Wei, a contractor based in Thailand and obtained 5,000 Chinese Yuan from one Mr Li, a Chinese citizen via gift card.
The offence is said to be contrary to section 22 (2) (b) of the Cybercrime Prohibition and Prevention Act 2015 and punishable under the same section.
He was also accused of fraudulently impersonating the same person and obtained another 8,000 Chinese Yuan from one Mr Gou, another Chinese citizen against the provisions of the Cybercrime Act.
Although a plea bargain was endorsed for a light punishment by EFCC, especially for an option of fine, Justice Ekwo varied the plea bargain agreement and sentenced him to 6 months imprisonment without option of fine.
Justice Ekwo held that it was high time the Nigerian judiciary rose to the challenge of rising cases of Cybercrime offences among the youths, adding that giving them options of fines appear not reducing the crime rate and not helping Nigeria’s image in the outside world.
The Judge ordered EFCC to return the 13,000 Chinese Yuan to the victims of the convict.
The convict who wept bitterly upon hearing of the court pronouncement was subsequently led to Kuje prison by officials of the Nigerian Prisons Service.