Justice S. I. Mark of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced a 22-year-old internet fraudster, named Daniel Chukwu, to one-year imprisonment for impersonation. He was convicted on Wednesday, 18th May 2022, after pleading guilty to a one-count charge bordering on impersonation, upon his arraignment by the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The count charge read; “that you Daniel Chukwu (a.ka.) Keanu Reeves, between 2021 and 2022, at Asaba, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, fraudulently impersonated Keanu Reeves, a United States of America celebrity with the intent to gain monetary advantage from one Annjenlena Holappa from Sweden and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 of the Cybercrimes (Prevention, Prohibition) Act, 2015.
The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the convict pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against him by the prosecution. In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, S. A. Kyenge prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly. Defence counsel, Paula O. Abudu, however, prayed the court “to temper justice with mercy, because he is a first-time offender and does not have previous criminal records”.
Justice Mark convicted and sentenced the defendant to one-year imprisonment with an option of a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) payable into the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Judge also ordered that the iPhone 12 Promax which the convict used in committing the crime, should be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He also ordered him to pay restitution to his victim.
Daniel Chukwu journey to the Correctional Service started when a petitioner alleged his involvement in internet-related activities. He was arrested and further investigations showed that he presented himself as Keanu Reeves, an American celebrity and fraudulently defrauded his victim a total sum of Two Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($2,400), which is about N1.1 million. He was thereafter prosecuted and convicted for one year imprisonment.