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SSS ‘Informant’ Defrauds Job Seekers Of N3.5m

A self-proclaimed informant for the Directorate of State Security, Okon Ntiedo, has been arrested for swindling over 50 unemployed persons from Cross River and Akwa Ibom states of N3.5m, under the guise of securing federal appointments for them.

The 27-year-old suspect, who was arrested on Thursday at a drinking spot in the Afokang area of Calabar South, is currently being detained at the Mbukpa Police Station in Calabar.

Ntiedo had allegedly promised to secure employment for the victims at the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Prisons Service and other federal parastatals.

He was said to have collected between N100, 000 and N250, 000 from the victims under the pretence that it would be used to process their forms and lobby officials in the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs.When PUNCH Metro visited the police station on Monday, Ntiedo confessed that he had collected various sums of money from the victims but alleged that the total money collected was N2m and not N3.5m.

He said he had worked in collaboration with a medical officer in the Nigeria Air Force, who is based in Kaduna, and a personal assistant in the ministry of internal affairs (names withheld).

Ntiedo said he was willing to pay back the money to the victims, but added that other “partners” would have to bring what he had transferred to them through their accounts.

He also said he had worked as an informant for the SSS since 2007, although he did not have any official identity card from the directorate.

Ntiedo said, “I have been working for the SSS since 2007 as an informant and have been posted to various parts of the country to monitor one activity or the other.

“I have also worked with the other suspects and we have maintained constant interactions. We have been working together based on agreed percentage.”

An Akwa Ibom State indigene, who was a victim, said he was introduced to Ntiedo by the air force personnel.

The 40-year-old victim, who pleaded anonymity, said, “I have known the air force official for more than 10 years. I didn’t have any cause to doubt him when he introduced Ntiedo to me.

“We rallied round our communities, gathered our sons and daughters, who are unemployed and those who did not have good jobs. We took a loan with an expectation of getting the jobs.

“Ntiedo told us on the telephone that the appointment would be available by September but September came and passed, no sign of anything. We started investigations and discovered that the suspect was staying in Calabar, Cross River State.

“He was just sending text messages to us to pay in money into three accounts and we kept on paying. Our tellers are with us and we have given copies to the police.”

Another victim, who identified himself as Emmanuel, said, “Initially I paid N100, 000 to an account belonging to the younger brother of the air force personnel, but his younger brother (name withheld) later died.

“When the brother died, I called the air force man with the deceased’s phone and he (personnel) told me that he will take up the project personally but that I should call Ntiedo and pay an additional N75,000 which I did. Unfortunately, nothing was done about the employment.”

When contacted, the Cross River State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Hogan Bassey, confirmed the story, saying the suspect had been arrested.

He said, “The information is correct and there is no attempt to release Ntiedo from detention because investigations are continuing. When we are through, he will be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigations. He is not an employee of the SSS; we have confirmed that. His so called residential address is still in doubt.”