Justice F.O.Olubanjo of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has convicted and sentenced two pipeline vandals and one internet fraudster to fifteen (15) years imprisonment.
The convicts: Nabo Arubere, Kala Kosenen and Ozemene Azuibuke were jailed on Monday, May 16, 2022 after pleading guilty to one count separate charge, bordering on malicious damage of crude oil pipeline and impersonation, upon their arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The charge against Arubere read: “that you Nabo Arubere (m) on or about the 16th day of October 2021 in Jones Creeks, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did wilfully or maliciously broke a pipeline for the transportation of crude oil belonging to NPDC/NECONDE oil company and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(7)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007 and punishable under Section 1(7)(b) of the same Act”.
Based on their pleas, prosecution counsel, I.K. Agwai prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to Arubere and Kosenen, Emmanuel Okorie prayed the court to temper justice with mercy “as the defendants are first- time offenders and remorseful for their actions”.
Justice Olubanjo convicted and sentenced the duo to five years imprisonment each, with an option of fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) each. The convicts are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.
The charge against Azubuike read: “that you Ozemene Azuibuke (aka Taylor Smith) between 2020 and January 2022 at Delta State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did fraudulently impersonate the identity of one Taylor Smith (a white man) with intent to defraud unsuspecting ladies from Syria and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(I) and (ii) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2)(2)(iv) of the Same Act”
Justice Olubanjo jailed Azuibuke five years on one -count of fraudulent impersonation. He also ordered him to forfeit his phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria and undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.
The convicts’ journey to the Correctional Centre opened when they were arrested by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC, based on verified intelligence on their fraudulent dealings. They were arrested, prosecuted and convicted.