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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arrested a man suspected of using its chairman’s name to blackmail directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Port Harcourt zonal office of the Commission made this known in a statement to newsmen.
The commission said Robert Swem Terfa, the suspect, sought bribes from the NDDC officials to “kill phantom corruption investigations” against them.
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”.
Allegedly claiming to be representing Ibrahim Magu, Terfa was said to have assured the directors that their names would be removed from an NDDC audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The commission also said it arrested a syndicate of 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 EFCC’s Benin zonal office using intelligence obtained from the victim.
“The suspects are: Onoghere Romina ( aka Pastor Joseph Romeo), Emoregan Fidelis Kelly ( aka Williams Brian), Sunday Obi (aka Stuart Symington) and Remember Akpobome,” the statement read.
“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 will be charged to court as soon as investigations are completed.