The police in Lagos have arrested a polytechnic student, Obinna Collins, who allegedly impersonated the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, to defraud some members of the public.
PUNCH Metro learnt that 21-year-old Collins allegedly opened a fake Facebook account in the name of the CP, through which he solicited funds to run a non-existent charity.
Collins, who hails from the Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, told our correspondent that he impersonated the CP to raise money to pay his tuition fees and meet other needs in the school.
According to the police, Collins was trailed and arrested after defrauding one of his victims ─ a woman ─ who he allegedly asked to send N20,000 to his account.
Our correspondent gathered that the woman, after realising that she had been duped, reported the matter at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, which eventually led to Collins’ arrest at a filling station in the Ikeja area.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, Collins, who claimed to be an Electrical Engineering student of the polytechnic, said he had defrauded only one victim before his arrest.
He added that he was looking for money to pay his school expenses.
He said, “I opened a Facebook account for the Lagos CP in September. I chose the CP of Lagos because I knew it was a popular office. I opened the account as a means to sustain my studies. I opened it to help myself in school. I only defrauded a woman. She sent N20,000 to my bank account.
“The lady’s name is Ronke. She said she wanted to date the Commissioner of Police, and she wanted to also meet me. She added that she had feelings for me. I told her that I run a charity and had a group of boys that I sponsored their education. So, I asked her to send in a support and she sent the money.
“I was arrested by the police at a filling station in Ikeja. I did not know the lady had reported me after paying the money. I came to the area to meet her and I was arrested.
“Now, I feel guilty that I went into this.”
Our correspondent gathered that the suspect, who allegedly uploaded the photo of the Lagos CP and a welcome speech, had reached out to members of the public to send in money to his charity.
The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said he did not operate on the social media, but only on the official police platforms.
He said, “I have never operated a Facebook account and I will not. You can only find me on official police platforms which are on our booklets. Members of the public should be wary of impostors who want to defraud them by dropping names.”