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ICPC arrests 7 over plan to dupe 774 LGs

Also arrested by ICPC detectives were two female staff of Eco Bank assigned to collect the conference levy, an ICPC official named Nosa as well…

Also arrested by ICPC detectives were two female staff of Eco Bank assigned to collect the conference levy, an ICPC official named Nosa as well as a lawyer who was to serve as a resource person at the conference.

The suspected conmen, Adedimeji Michael, Roger Peace and Remison Jimmy of Educational Reporters International had put up the suspected fake conference allegedly with the motive to dupe local government officials who subscribed to the conference.

Had their plans on the conference worked to the letter, those involved would have smiled to the banks with nothing less than N30 billion on the basis that each local government paid the sum of N40,000 conference fee.

They had already succeeded in attracting more than 400 council chairmen and their officials to the Women Development Center venue of the fake conference and had gone ahead to obtain N40,000 fee from those who turned up so far.

The suspected fraudsters, according to ICPC, had conned chairmen of local government areas with a letter purportedly written by the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), even as they equally dropped the name of the ICPC as co-organisers.

According to ICPC, the circular for the proposed ICPC conference was signed by one Folodun O. B. said to be an officer in the Secretary to the Government of the Federation office.

Luck, however, ran out of the suspects when officials of ICPC, acting on a distress call from one of the local government chairmen, stormed the venue of the conference tagged: Proposed ICPC 2010 Nationwide Local Government Visit and Pre-National Orientation on ICPC Act In Local Government, and effected their prompt arrest.

According to ICPC, a Commissioner of Local Government in Rivers state, Tammy Danagogo, had on March 10, called the ICPC headquarters for detailed information about the conference, having claimed to have received a circular from the SGF’s office purportedly compelling attendance of every local government chairman in Nigeria at the conference.

Tammy, according to ICPC, had in response to the circular, sent the entire top officials in his local government area to Abuja for attendance which he even made more compulsory, only to later find out that the conference was not in any way genuine.  

ICPC said the information already supplied by Tammy thus compelled its operatives to visit the Women Development Centre, venue of the conference and on arrival, surprisingly met hundreds of participants still struggling to pay the N40,000 levy at a payment point already set aside by the suspects.

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