man impersonates Mike Okiro, defrauds lawmakers’ household, friends

The Zone 2 Police Command , Onikan,
Lagos State , has arrested a 37 - year- old
man, Emmanuel Ebuzoma , for
allegedly defrauding relatives and
friends of some National Assembly
members in a police recruitment scam .
The Delta State indigene was alleged to
have obtained a pre - registered SIM
card with the name of a former
Inspector - General of Police and
Chairman of the Police Service
Commission , Dr Mike Okiro .
Ebuzoma was reported to have
obtained telephone numbers of
senators, members of the House of
Representatives and governors , whom
he sent bulk text messages to ,
requesting contacts of four people they
wanted to help into the Nigeria Police
Some of the government functionaries
were said to have sent numbers of
their relatives and friends to the
suspect , who immediately contacted
them , demanding various sums of
money for registration into the Force .
The Zone 2 Police Public Relations
Officer , SP Dolapo Badmos , said the
suspect had five account numbers into
which the applicants paid between
N25 , 000 and N50 ,000 .
She said , “ The Chairman of the PSC, Dr
Mike Okiro, got complaints from some
members of the public that a syndicate
was using his name to defraud people.
He became worried and wrote a
petition to the Assistant Inspector -
General of Police, Zone 2 , Adamu
Ibrahim .
“ The petition was forwarded to the
Public Complaints Bureau and police
operatives swung into action .
Detectives tracked the suspect to
Onitsha , Anambra State , where he was
arrested despite his cleverness .
“ In the course of investigation , we
discovered that he had accomplices,
who assisted him in getting account
numbers of innocent residents, into
which applicants paid various sums of
money . He never used his own account
number so as not to be caught.
“ Again, when you dial the phone
number he uses to call through True
Caller , a telephone application , it will
bring out the name of Dr Mike Okiro.
We discovered he had help from some
agents of a telecommunications
“ Actually, he started the criminal act
in October 2016 and from our checks
on all the account numbers , he has
realised about N4 .5 m . Most of his
victims came from senators and House
of Representatives members .”
The suspect , who confessed to the
crime , said he had only made
N400 , 000 , adding that he got the
money from those referred to him by
some members of the House of
Representatives .
He said , “ I was at home one day when
I decided to browse on my telephone . I
saw the phone numbers of some
senators, governors and House of
Representatives members on the
Internet . I decided to try if I could
make money from them .
“ I sent bulk text messages to them . I
sent to six House of Representatives
members , telling them that I was Mike
Okiro and that they should send me
four names of their candidates for
police recruitment.
“ When I sent the messages , four of
them responded. They sent four names
each with the telephone numbers of
the applicants. I immediately sent text
messages to those people, asking them
to go to a bank and pay for their
training kits and afterwards report at
Abuja. I collected between N25 ,000 to
N30 , 000 from each person.
“ A girl supplied me account numbers
into which payments were made . We
had about four account numbers and
we had withdrawn close to N400 , 000 .
There is a place in Onitsha where we
buy pre - registered SIM cards . That was
where I got the telephone number I
used .”
His accomplice, Faith Oregbu, denied
knowledge of the scam , saying she
thought Ebuzoma was receiving
payments from popular Ponzi scheme,
The 23 - year - old said the suspect had
only paid her N26 ,000 since they met .
She said , “ A friend of mine,
Chidiebere , had collected my account
number , saying she was expecting
someone to send money to her . When I
got an alert of N70 ,000 , she told me a
man would come for it.
“ He (Ebuzoma ) called shortly
afterwards and we met at a bank
where I withdrew the money . He gave
me N 5 , 000 from the money and said I
should take N 4 ,000 and give
Chidiebere N 1 ,000 .
“ Later , he asked me for another bank
account . He said my account had been
blocked. I sent him three account
numbers and told him to pick one
from them . Since we met, I have
withdrawn about N 290 ,000 for him
and he has paid me a total of N 26 ,000 .
“ I was not confident enough to ask
him where the money was coming
from. But when I asked my friend ,
Chidiebere , she said it was from MMM .
So, I thought the money was from
MMM . Knowing the source of the
money now makes me feel sad ,
embarrassed and ashamed .”
Badmos, while warning job seekers to
beware of fraudsters demanding
money in exchange for employment,
said the suspects would be arraigned
in court at the end of investigations .

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