Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested a man using its chairman’s name to blackmail directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A statement signed by the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the suspect, Robert Swem Terfa, sought bribes from the NDDC officials to “kill phantom corruption investigations” against them.
According to the statement, Terfa was arrested in Juanita Hotel, Port Harcourt, where he was holding a meeting with some NDDC directors over a “phoney” offer to remove their names from the list of individuals being investigated by the Commission.”
Terfa, who allegedly claimed he was representing the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, assured the directors that their names would be removed from an NDDC audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The EFCC operatives also arrested suspected internet fraudsters who used a cloned document of the EFCC and Magu’s forged signature to defraud Patricia Walker, a 60-year-old American lady.
The four-man gang was arrested on Friday by the EFCC operatives from the’ Benin zonal office, using intelligence obtained from the victim.
The statement read: “The suspects are: Onoghere Romina ( aka Pastor Joseph Romeo), Emoregan Fidelis Kelly ( aka Williams Brian), Sunday Obi (aka Stuart Symington) and Remember Akpobome.
“They are alleged to have defrauded Walker of an aggregate sum of $850,000 in a dating scam. The syndicate started milking Walker in 2014 when they defrauded her of $375,163.63.
“To further hoodwink Walker to part with more money, the syndicate in 2017 forwarded forged documents and letters, including a fake letter of guarantee from EFCC and purportedly signed by the Chairman, Ibrahim Magu and one Yomi Balogun whom they claimed is the Head of Operations, Lagos.
“In the said letter, the syndicate told their victim to pay $157,000 in order to receive ‘your consignment boxes in our custody of $10 million and another $3 million deposited in our office a few days ago by OFAC.
“Items recovered from the suspects include forged documents, including ‘Payment Guarantee’ from the Office of the President of Nigeria and mobile phones.”
The EFCC said all the suspects would be arraigned in court at the end of investigations.
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