By Gladys Nweke
A Port Harcourt man floated a marriage scheme to dupe a lover for N1.35m pretending to fall into trouble requiring such amount to free him. The woman paid the amount but became suspicious when more demands were made. The law moved in and the go-between was jailed.
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt under Justice M.I. Sani on Tuesday, convicted Wasiu Rasak, Chinedu Jude Abah, Rome Steven Itimi, and Richard Uduma for six months each for different cases of fraud.
Rasak was arraigned on a one-count charge bordering on money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) court documents sighted by newsmen.
Rasak got into trouble when he posed as a lawyer to defraud a lady of the sum of N1.35m. The lady was deceived by a fake lover, Moferere Temilola, who promised her marriage. They dated for two months. However, on a particular day, Rasak called her that her proposed husband was in prison over a case and that he needed a sum of N1.5 million to resolve the matter. The petitioner quickly raised N1.35 million and sent it to the supposed lawyer, Rasak to resolve the matter.
After a while, Rasak started making other financial demands from her on behalf of the proposed husband. This fuelled the petitioner’s suspicion that she was being scammed and so petitioned the EFCC.
Justice Sani sentenced him to six months imprisonment without an option of fine.
Chinedu Jude Abah and Rome Steven Itimi were arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining under false pretence.
Troubles came for both of them for conspiring with a fraudster, Glory Ndubuisi, to dupe innocent buyers of their online products: bags, shoes, clothes and other items. Ndubuisi was using her Instagram handle: madam_funmi_wardrobe to defraud members of the public by placing items on the internet for sale.
Investigations by the EFCC showed that several victims made payments totalling N588,300 into her account and the money was subsequently transferred to Abah and Itimi. They neither delivered the items paid for by their victims, nor did they return their money to them.
The fourth convict, Richard Uduma (aka Richard Dominic; Meryer R. Mark) was sentenced to six months imprisonment for obtaining documents containing false pretence. He was arraigned before Justice Sani on one-count charge bordering on possession of documents containing false pretence contrary to section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
Uduma was arrested by EFCC operatives along Liberty Drive, Woji, Port Harcourt for internet-related offences, based on special surveillance and intelligence.