Three men have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly impersonating the staff of the commission and officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The Uyo Zonal Office of the EFCC confirmed this development on Tuesday in a statement issued by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren.
He revealed that the suspects; Norbert Rampa, 51, Patrick Essien, 50 and Gabriel Daniel, 32, were arrested in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
Uwujaren said the trio, along with other members of their team had on September 19, 2018, paid a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Uyo office, under the auspices of Grassroots Development Advocacy Initiative (GDAI) which they claim was a registered organisation with the National Anti-corruption Coalition (NACC).
“During the visit, its national director, Essien spoke extensively on the several trainings that the members had gone through to ensure grassroots engagements in budget processes, aimed at sustaining the fight against corruption, while Rampa who introduced himself as the director of programmes of the group spoke on their robust collaboration with the ICPC.
“They, however, requested that they be granted operational powers, to which the Zonal Head, Mr. Garba Dugum refused and advised them to rather report all perceived corrupt practices to the Commission.
“The team obviously paid no heed to Dugum’s advice as Rampa, Essien and Daniel, who are the leaders, were discovered to have embarked on various levels of forgery and impersonation in a criminal act of extortion from unsuspecting members of the public, whom they deceive and intimidate with the claim that they are in a joint operational task force with both the EFCC and the ICPC.
EFCC said that forged letters presented by a victim prompted its operatives to carry out a search on the apartments of the trio.
The search strongly established that Essien, Rampa and Daniel had been impersonating the EFCC and ICPC in the state and beyond.
EFCC confirmed that: “Forged documents recovered from their apartments include: Fake EFCC letterhead papers, ICPC operational jackets, forged identity cards of National Anti-corruption Coalition of ICPC/EFCC Partnership, various forged letters to individuals and organisations purportedly coming from EFCC and ICPC.
“Others are: Forged investigation letters to First Bank of Nigeria, handwritten drafts of fake petitions against individuals, forged investigation letters from the suspects to their accuser, Mr. Udobong and a desktop computer.
“Also included are a fake “National Anti-Corruption Coalition (NACC) of ICPC/EFCC Partnership,” letterhead paper that captured Norbert Rampa as “Head, Intelligence Investigator/Operations,” a forged EFCC letterhead paper with the Commission’s logo on the left hand side and the coat of arms on the right hand side and forged identity cards”.
However, Uwujaren said the suspects are currently providing useful information to the Commission and would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
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