29th July, 2010
Baring any last minute change in policy, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will soon commence the arrest and prosecution of victims of EFCC impersonators who part with their money to them under the guise of giving the EFCC officials money to stop their probe, since both the giver and the taker of bribes are liable before the law.
This disclosure was made by the Director of Operations in the Commission, Mr. Steven Otitoju, who spoke to newsmen during the parade of two fake operatives of the agency.
He stated that the impersonators assume the identity of notable officials of the agency to harass people across the country who, for fear of being probed by the agency, unfortunately fall for the impersonators bait and part with their money.
The senior official of the Commission said a complaint was filed at the Commission by a car dealer against one Mr. Salisu Sambo Goni who has been impersonating a serving Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Uba Ringim, who also claimed to be an operative of the anti-graft agency and demanded the sum of N865,000 from him to stop his probe by the Commission.
The car dealer alleged that he deposited the sum of N650,000 in the impostorâ€™s Guarantee Trust Bank account and handed the balance of N210,000 to the impostor directly in cash.
The seemingly successful deal, however turned, sour when the car dealer finally discovered that he had been conned and started demanding for his money from the fraudster.
On his failure to get back his money, he took the matter to the EFCC. The intervention of the Commission led to the arrest of the suspect at the BauchI Branch of Guarantee Trust Bank where he obviously went to cash his loot.
A search conducted at the suspectâ€™s residence at Block 11, Borno House, Gwarimpa Estate threw up series of materials that are in a fraudstersâ€™ tool kit.
Some of the materials recovered were deposit slips of various banks, tenancy agreement bearing his name as an operative of the State Security Service, SSS, a letter of introduction in his favour from the SSS for the auction of Peugeot 206 car signed byÂ B. Mohammed for the Director of State Security, a letter in his favour from the SSS in Bornu state inviting him for a meeting, six motor vehicle plate numbers, a photocopy of NYSC discharge certificate bearing his name, and 4 files of Nigeria Police Force Recruitment.
Other items are a purchase receipt in the name of DIG Uba Bala Ringim, a vehicle registration book for a Nissan SUV bearing the name of Ladan Danjuma, identity card of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency belonging to the same Danjuma as well as other incriminating materials.
The suspect who is a 30 year old Remedial Studies graduate of the University of Maiduguri, told newsmen that DIG Ringim is a close friend to his father, a retired civil servant while his uncle is the Director of the State Security Service in Maiduguri.
By Nnamdi Felix / Abuja