A fraud gang that specializes in impersonating top politicians and government functionaries to dupe unsuspecting Nigerians have been smashed.
The fraudsters were said to have impersonated former Lagos State Governor and APC chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Senate President Bukola Saraki, the Chief of Staff to President, Abba Kyari, National Security Adviser to President, Babagana Moguno, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibeh Kachukwu, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and other top government functionaries in perfecting their crimes.
ALSO READ: "Scam Masters: 'Tinubu' arrested for fraud"
The arrested suspects were identified as High Chief Ovie Ogo (Eze Ireoma of Omoku, Rivers State), a native of Ekpan in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, Abdullazeez Eragbe, a native of Ikabigbo in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State.
Others include Babatunde Oshamoto, an indigene of Iyamoye, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State and Samuel Idah, from Uromi, Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, while a fifth suspect, Prince Attah a.k.a Maurice, who is based in the United Kingdom, has been declared wanted.
Briefing newsmen on the arrests of the fraudsters in Abuja on Thursday, March 30, 2017, the Force Police Public Relations Officer (FPPRO), CSP Jimoh Moshood, said that the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and arrested the notorious suspected criminals after a painstaking investigation.
CSP Moshood said exhibits recovered from them included 14 assorted mobile phones, all with sim cards registered with the names of top government officials and other prominent Nigerians, several extra registered sim cards, a diary containing phone numbers of several top government officials and prominent persons in the country.
"In a coordinated operation in synergy with the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU) after a painstaking and sustained surveillance by IRT, the suspects were arrested.
The four-man gang notorious syndicate led by one High Chief Ovie Ogo (Eze Ireoma of Omoku, Rivers State) was arrested in a hotel in Kaduna State.
High Chief Ovie Ogo is 47-years-old who impersonates prominent citizens from the South-South and Southeast.
Abdulazeez Eragbe 40, who was born and brought up in Kaduna State and speaks Hausa fluently, impersonates prominent citizens from the North; Babatunde Oshamoto 49, impersonates prominent citizens from the South-West and North Central while Samuel Idah 25, supplies them with sim cards registered with the names of the prominent citizens.
All the suspects confessed to the crime, admitting to having impersonated several prominent citizens and made over ₦20, 000, 000 from their criminal acts within the last six months before they were arrested.
Chief Ovie Ogo further confessed that he posed as the National Security Adviser and collected ₦13, 000, 000 from a Ghanaian who wanted to get an oil block in Nigeria.
The gang also posed as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and collected ₦4, 000, 000 from a man who was seeking for a federal appointment.
They equally posed as Chief of Staff to the President and collected ₦2, 500, 000 from another individual who was looking for a contract.
The suspects again posed as the Chief of Staff to president and ₦700, 000 from one young man who was also seeking a federal appointment," CSP Jimoh said.
The Force PPRO added that investigations are being intensified to arrest other suspects who are at large while those arrested will be charged to court on completion of an investigation.