By: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar.
Department of State Services (DSS), Cross River Command, has arrested one Mr. Peter Akpanke for alleged impersonation as an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Also arrested were two Cross River Government officials, Messres Rufus Awu and Charles Ikpeme on the board of Commercial Transport Regulatory Agency (CTRA).
They were arrested in their hideout in a hotel in Calabar while perfecting plans to extort over N10 million through a phantom fraud petition against an official of the Cross River Government.
Sources disclosed that Rufus and Charles, the alleged masterminds of the petition recruited Akanpke who was a subject of disclaimer by the authority of the EFCC into the plan to rubbish the state official and to make him part with some money for allegedly refusing to share government revenue with them.
The suspects were said to have engaged the unsuspecting state official with phone calls and a promise to get his boss in Abuja to throw away the petition only if the official “will play ball with the sum of N10 million” and was said to have made spurious efforts to hoodwink the official to part with the said sum.
Luck ran against them when the hatchet men gathered at the hotel in Calabar to finalize their plans, since the state official decided to play along.
This development led Akpanke to invite him to come over with the cash but according to sources, unknown to the trio, men of the DSS acting on a tip off surrounded the hotel premises and arrested them.
Eyewitness account has it that the suspects are currently cooling their heels at the DSS office in Calabar, while investigation has commenced into the matter.
Their vehicles were also impounded and taken to the DSS office.
The suspects are said to have made useful statements which had opened a floodgate of petition against him allegedly from unsuspecting members of the public whom he has defrauded before under the disguise of being an EFCC official.
Our investigation also gathered that the plan to frame up the state officials was part of a grand plan design to get the governor to relieve him of his position and a top aide to Governor Ben Ayade is said to be behind the plot.
It was observed as at press time that “some top government officials were making frantic effort to get the suspects released but to no avail due to the serious nature of the matter and it was gathered that the DSS wanted to conclude their investigation before transferring the matter to the Police.
The EFCC in a disclaimer published by the Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, had said Akpanke and one Kabiru Shehu Bala, had ceased to be their staff.
When contacted, State Director of DSS, Betina Ogoro had wondered how her phone number was gotten and cut the line.
Man docked for alleged impersonation of EFCC in Cross River
By: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar.