…I only wanted to assist him get appointed as Buhari’s SA on Oil & Gas-suspect confesses
By Soni Daniel – Abuja
Forty-year-old man, Prince Mohammed Momoh, has been arrested and detained by the Department of State Security for dropping the name of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff in a bid to defraud an unsuspecting Nigerian of the sum of $50,000.
The suspect, a father of two, from Olamaboro in Kogi State, was arrested in a sting operation by the DSS as he went to collect the bounty from his potential victim, Benson Aniego, a native of Bayelsa State.
The Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, who paraded the suspect at the DSS headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, described Momoh as the head of a syndicate specialising in dropping the names of senior government officials to fleece unsuspecting Nigerians for phantom positions in and outside the government.
The DSS Spokesman said in the sting operation in which he was finally arrested, Momoh, who once worked as an aide to a Presidency official, presented himself as an aide to the CoS and demanded the sum of $50,000 from Benson Aniego with a promise to get him to be appointed as Buhari’s Special Assistant on Oil and Gas.
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Afunanya said that Momoh, who had been running the syndicate with three others-Michael Omo, Monday and Ifeanyi, now at large, told their potential victim that out of the amount $35,000 would go to the Chief of Staff while the balance would be used by other facilitators to get him the top political post.
The DSS spokesman explained that luck ran out of the syndicate when Mr. Benson Aniego suspected them and contacted the service to investigate the genuineness of the group and he was asked to play along with them until the point of payment of the cash.
“We arrested Prince Momoh in a sting operation conducted on July 28, 2020 and we want to alert the public that the syndicate has no connection whatsoever with the Chief of Staff to the President or any other official of the government at any level.
“The head of the syndicate, Momoh, only exploited his former position as an aide to a top Presidency official and started to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians. He has no relationship with any Presidential official as we speak.
“That is why we are pleading with Nigerians to desist from falling victims to fraudsters who continue to drop the names of top government officials for pecuniary gains. We will continue to fish them out and expose them for what they are: fraudsters and nothing more,” the DSS spokesman said.
The suspect, Prince Momoh, who served as an aide to a Presidency official between 2013 and 2015, confessed that he only collected a curriculum vitae from someone he wanted to help to secure a job but did not know he would end up in what he called ‘unfortunate situation’.
Afunanya said the suspect would be charged while the agency’s dragnet would be extended in order to fish out the other suspects on the run.