The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission said it had arrested six members of a cybercrime syndicate, who had been impersonating the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rev. Nicholas Okoh, and some bishops of the church on Facebook to defraud members of the public.
The anti-corruption agency spokesperson, Rashedat Okoduwa, said in a statement on Sunday that the suspects set up fake Facebook accounts and posted fictitious distress messages through them to solicit financial assistance from public figures, creating the impression that the clergy were sending the messages.
Among the targets of the suspects were politicians, prominent persons in the society and top government officials.
Okoduwa said, “Members of the syndicate, allegedly led by Jehu Kwasu, were arrested in Kaduna for using a fake Facebook account of the reverend to defraud unsuspecting members of the public of several millions of naira.
“Investigation by the ICPC revealed that the syndicate posts fictitious distress stories on the fake Facebook account to con prominent citizens, top government officials and politicians into believing that it was Rev. Okoh who was making the plea for help.
“The commission further found out that the group was also impersonating other top clergymen of the Anglican Communion such as Bishops Zakari Nyam, Moleku and Lamido to commit their nefarious acts.”
According to the ICPC spokesperson, five of the suspects have been granted bail, while the head of the syndicate is still in custody.
“Five of the suspects are currently on administrative bail from the commission, leaving only Kwasu, who has yet to meet his bail conditions. It is noteworthy that the suspects have made useful statements to the commission and will be charged to court soon after the conclusion of investigation,” Okoduwa added.