Fake US Army general bags jail term in Nigeria

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of Uyime Omoruyi for impersonating a United States General Barnett Edwards Riggs.

Omoruyi was also found culpable of fraudulently inducing one Mary Cuter of the sum of $999 (Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine Dollars) to him.

EFCC in a statement by its spokesman Tony Orilade said Omuruyi was arraigned before Justice Samirah Bature of the FCT High Court, Maitama on an amended charge bordering on attempted cheating and impersonation.

The charge reads: “That you, Uyime Omoruyi (aka Gen. Barnett Riggs Edward) sometimes in 2018 at Abuja within the Judicial Division of this Honourable Court, did attempt to cheat, by posing as a United States General Barnett Edward Riggs, an American soldier deployed to Afghanistan and fraudulently induced one Mary Cuter to deliver the sum of $999 (Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Dollars) that the money is payment for clearance of a package with World Link Courier Service, a claim which you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 320 (a) of the Penal Code punishable under section 324 of Penal Code, laws of the Federation (Abuja) 1990.”

Omoruyi, who was first arraigned on April 4, 2019, pleaded “guilty” to the amended charge after it was read to him. Prosecuting counsel, Best Ojukwu, thereafter, prayed the court to sentence the defendant, accordingly.

Defence counsel, Adachi Abel, however, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, stating that the convict had shown remorse for his actions, and “he cooperated with investigators and helped them apprehend similar offenders”.

While delivering judgement, Justice Bature noted that the convict was a first-time offender and “he has saved the State from expending resources and time by pleading guilty on arraignment”.

The trial judge, thus convicted him and handed him a fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira), in default of which, he will spend one year in Kuje Prison.

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