The Nigerian police, Thursday, paraded four men in Abuja said to belong to a notorious syndicate that specialised in impersonating high profile public officers in order to swindle unsuspecting members of the public.
Police said they recovered from the suspects, 14 mobile telephone handsets, with SIM cards registered with the names of top government officials and other prominent Nigerians.
Several other registered SIM cards and a diary containing phone numbers of several top government officials and prominent persons in the country were also recovered, according to the police.
Forty-seven-year-old Ovie Ogo, said to be a high chief from Ekpan in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta state, was among the suspects paraded by the police.
The Force spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, told journalists that Mr. Ogo holds a traditional title of Eze Ireoma of Omoku, Rivers state.
Police said the high chief has confessed that he had some time ago posed as Nigeria’s National Security Adviser in order to dupe a Ghanaian who was anxious about getting oil block in Nigeria.
Mr. Ogo, who was the leader of the syndicate, swindled the Ghanaian of N13 million, the police said.
He and three of the suspects, according to the police, were arrested March 28 in a hotel in Kaduna State.
The three other suspects are Abdullazeez Eragbe, 40, from Ikabigbo, Esako West Local Government Area, Edo State; Babatunde Oshamoto, 49, from Iyamoye, Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi State; and Samuel Idah, 25, from Uromi, Esan North – East Local Government Area, Edo State.
A fourth suspect, Prince Attah, otherwise known as Maurice, is said to be based in the United Kingdom. Police said he is at large.
“The gang also posed as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and collected four Million Naira from one man, name withheld, who is seeking for a federal appointment,” the police spokesperson, Mr. Moshood said, adding that the syndicate was bust by the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT), following several complaints about their alleged criminal activities.
“They equally posed as Chief of Staff to the President and collected N2.5 million from another individual who is looking for a contract.
“The suspects again posed as the Chief of Staff to president and collected Seven Hundred Thousand Naira from one young man name withheld, who is also seeking for federal appointment,” said Mr. Moshood, a chief superintendent of police.
The police said they were intensifying their investigation and also making effort to arrest other suspects who are at large.
“The general public is advised to be careful and verify the identity of whosoever they may wish to transact business or relate with,” Mr. Moshood said.