By Esther Onyegbula
A 65-year-old man is being investigated by operatives of X-Squad of Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja for allegedly impersonating an army general and defrauding victims.
Imoh Bassey, allegedly impersonating one Major- General Morgan, was said to have met his waterloo after a victim, who had been on his trail after he defrauded him, raised the alarm at Fola Agoro area of Shomolu, Lagos.
It was learned that Bassey, from Akwa Ibom State, used a fake identity card that showed he worked in the Presidency as national security co-coordinator for southern zone.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that the suspect, once paraded as a criminal receiver by the Akwa Ibom Police Command, had been reportedly involved in fraudulent transactions using fake alert to defraud unsuspecting victims, and staying in hotels without paying. According to a police report, Bassey, who had been detained severally at different divisional police stations, including Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, was fond of using fake bank alert to con his victims.
The case, initially reported at Sabo Divisional Police Station, was transferred to Area C and then to X-Squad for further investigation.
One of the victims, Nwkpo kanayochukwu Ogbonna, narrated his story: “I met this man for the first time when he came to my shop to buy something on the 12th of December, 2015. Later, he came back on the 16th. When he came, he said he had an accident and that he needed help. From five thousand, he said he needed N35, 000. Later, he said he needed N45, 000. That was after he had presented himself as a major general. He showed me an identity card. I believed him because I didn’t expect an elder of his age to be lying. Meanwhile, I didn’t have that money. I collected N40, 000 from my neighbour and gave to him. He said I will supply 130 bags of Christmas rice to Myhoung Barracks, Yaba. So he collected four bags to show them the type of rice I would be supplying, saying if they were okay with it, I will do the supplying on the 23rd of December. He took the four bags of rice that day, and promised to pay money into my account the next day to enable me supply the rice, after I explained to him that I didn’t have enough money to do the supply because my shop was bugled about four days earlier.
“The next day, he said he went to the bank but couldn’t pay the money into my account because my account was savings account, and that the money could only be paid into a current account. When he came back in the night, he said I had to buy drinks for some top officers in the barracks who he collected the contract from and gave me. He said he needed three bottles of America Honey to give them. He said each bottle of the drinks cost N7,800 but he collected N30, 000 from me to purchase the drinks.
I took him to my neighbour’s shop who sells drinks; he said the brands in the shop were fake and that he knew where to get the original. That same day, he said the money he will transfer into my account for the supply would be N2.8million; that I must have eight percent of that amount (which is N224, 000) in my account. I told him I didn’t have the money. He said he will provide the money the following day. And that he will help me open the account. And that once the money entered my account, I will withdraw it and give him back. The following day, he called me in the morning and said he was able to raise N170, 000 and that I should run around and get the balance of N54, 000. According to him, he had a transaction at Ikeja Cantonment, and that, after the transaction, he will be available for his own bank transaction. He asked me to come and meet him at First Bank branch , Alausa, Ikeja.
Luckily, I was able to borrow the N54, 000 balance which I took to him. He brought out an account opening form, filled it; brought out deposit slip, filled it. He wrote the above stated amount, collected the N54,000 from me and added to the one he had and put it inside a black lylon. He said I needed to do ID. “As fate would have it, on the 21st of December, I was sitting in my shop at Fola Agoro area of Sabo when a Mercedes Benz was carrying him and I saw him. I raised the alarm. People around asked them to park. They refused but because of traffic they couldn’t escape; with the help of some soldiers coming from the bank, we took him to the barracks nearby and discovered that he is not a major-general. He was hiding the ID card from the soldiers when he saw them.”
Bassey, the suspect, said he didn’t have anything to say. “Are we judging the case here? If we are not, then there is nothing to say”, he said. “There is no point giving my own side of the story, because there is no judge here, there is no magistrate. I have been here for three weeks; all I know is that I owe this boy, referring to the victim. I loaned money from him, I wanted to use the money to put my car in order, because I had an accident. He is not my friend, he is my customer. That is all”.