By Harrison Arubu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has arrested two men for “impersonating” its operatives to obtain $10,000 by false presence.
Spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement.
Uwujaren identified the suspects as one Mike Nkwocha and Richardson Obasogie, a “self-confessed Colonel in the United States Army”.
He said their victim (not identified) had petitioned the commission alleging that one Ladan Mustapha, who claimed to be an EFCC operative, called to inform him that there was a petition against him.
Mustapha allegedly told the victim that the petition bordered on illegal acquisition of assets in different parts of the country for which he was currently under investigation.
“Together with his partner, Nkwocha, a meeting was arranged, in which $200,000 was demanded as gratification in order to “kill” the case, but $15,000 was later agreed upon as payment.
“An initial payment of $5,000 cash was made to Nkwocha, while he continued to put pressure on him for the balance of $10,000.
“However, suspecting foul play, after a retired personnel of the DSS (Department of State Services) told the petitioner that EFCC operatives don’t demand money to carry out official duties, the EFCC was petitioned,” Uwujaren said.
According to him, Nkwocha was arrested, and during interrogation, confessed that Obasogie was the “brain” behind the fraud.
He said a search warrant was executed on the suspects’ houses resulting in the recovery of incriminating items.
He listed the items as letterheads of the United States Government, DSS, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Bayelsa State Government, and one computer system.
Uwujaren added that Nkwocha and Obasogie would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.
Meanwhile, operatives are intensifying search for Ladan Mustapha, who is currently at large, he said.