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Court Jails Igweneme over $240,000 Romance Scam

Justice A.T. Mohammed of Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Thursday May 28, 2020 convicted and sentenced one Igweneme Moses (a.k.a. Griffith Doyle), to one year imprisonment for conspiracy and money laundering.

The convict, who defrauded his victim, Chantai Meadery in February 2018 through a dating scam, with a promise of “building a future together” in Switzerland, was arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on July 23, 2019 on a 4-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering.

One of the counts reads: “That you Igweneme Moses and Igweneme Nkeiruka Blessing (now at large)between the 13th and 26th March, 2018 directly took possession of the sum of $82,706,(Eight Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Six US Dollars) which you knew or reasonably ought to have known is the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wilt: obtaining under false pretence from one Chantai Helene Meadery and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under Section 15(2) of Money Laundering(Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As amended)”. The defendant initially pleaded “not guilty”.

Meanwhile, in the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the convict used the pretext of fake emergency situations, to trick his victim in making a total of sixteen (16) transfers amounting to Two Hundred and Forty Thousand, Seven Hundred Dollars ($240,700) to the convict.

The convict received all the money through his UBA account number 30020624272, a domiciliary joint account belonging to him and his daughter, Igweneme Nkeiruka Blessing. Further investigation also revealed that any time the domiciliary account was credited, Moses transfered the funds in United States dollars to a bureau de change operator who will then transfer the Naira equivalent to his daughter via UBA Naira account No. 2064404530.

However, at the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Moses changed his plea to “guilty”.
Upon his guilty plea, the prosecuting counsel, T. M. Iko, urged the court to convict the defendant as charged and order the restitution of the total sum of Two Hundred and Forty Thousand US Dollars ($240,000) to the victim.

Justice Mohammed consequently convicted Moses and sentenced him to one year imprisonment and ordered total restitution of the sum of Two Hundred and Forty Thousand US Dollars ($240,000) to the victim.

The convict has so far returned the sum of One Hundred Thousand US Dollars (S100, 000) to the victim.

Dele Oyewale,
Head, Media & Publicity
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COURT JAILS OIL THIEF IN PORT HARCOURT

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, on Thursday, May 28, 2020, secured the conviction of one Praise Wokoma Barrah for illegal dealing in petroleum products. He was jailed by Justice I.M Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.

The convict was arraigned by the Commission on one-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products, contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, CAP P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, and punishable under Section 4 (6) of the same Act.

The one-count charge read: “That you Praise Wokoma Barrah, sometime in August, 2019 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did distribute petroleum products (Automotive Gas Oil) conveyed in a Ford Bus with registration number FZE 778 RV without a licence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Petroleum Act, CAP P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, and punishable under Section 4 (6) of the same Act”.

Barrah pleaded guilty to the charge.

While reviewing the facts, prosecution counsel, M. T. Iko tendered some documents and called a witness who told the court that the convict was arrested by 6 Division, Nigerian Army at Okwujiagu Area of Port Harcourt, alongside a Ford Bus with registration Number FZE 778 RV, while conveying drums containing products suspected to be illegally -refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO).

The prosecution witness further disclosed that the convict, Barrah, did not have a licence from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to lift or deal in petroleum products. In view of the facts, Iko urged the court to convict and sentence the defendant as charged.

Justice Sani thereafter convicted and sentenced Barrah to two years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000) fine.

Dele Oyewale,
Head, Media & Publicity