it was gathered that on the advice of his counsel, Mrs I. Njoku, Benneth entered into a plead bargain agreement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Akinlade said Benneth had no reason to be involved in internet fraud, emphasising that he should have thought of the consequences before his attempt.
She said, “At the age of 30, some of your age mates are married and already managers with serious responsibilities in some big companies, while you are still serving.”
“Now you have been convicted, which will be reflected in your record. You should have thought of the consequences before engaging in fraudulent activities.”
“You better go and change because if you go back to fraud, the EFCC will catch you again and the law will catch up with you.”
She noted that his sentence would commence from Aug.28 when he was arrested.
While explaining how Benneth was arrested and charged, EFCC counsel, Mrs Atinuke Daramola revealed that one Mr Sam Ohuabunwa petitioned the commission claiming that someone had hacked into his e-mail account.
She said, “The petitioner said the person started requesting for his mail contacts to send money into a certain Zenith Bank account no: 2080306452,
on his behalf”.
She said this information assisted the agency in their investigation at the bank, revealing that the bank account belongs to Benneth Ibok.
She said, “This led to his arrest at his residence located at Plot 2, Pilot Crescent off Bode Thomas, Surulere, Lagos.
“A search was conducted in his apartment and several forged documents relating to Union Bank Plc and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) were found in his possession.
“Other correspondence via e-mail to some foreigners, where he claimed to have won a fictitious European Winning Lottery Programme, were also found in his laptop.”
Daramola affirmed that his offences violated Sections 6, 8 (b) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation republic of Nigeria.
Benneth was charged by the EFCC on 10 counts charges relating to forgery and possession of fraudulent document.