Operatives of the Enugu State Police Command have arrested a suspect, Somtochukwu Franklin, 26, for allegedly faking and using a popular philanthropist’s Facebook account to defraud members of the public.
This was contained in a statement by the command’s Spokesperson, Daniel Ndukwe, on Wednesday in Enugu.
Ndukwe said the arrest was made by police operatives serving in New Haven Police Division on December 3, 2023 at about 12:30pm when they acted on credible information.
According to him, Franklin uses the Facebook account name and details of Chief Emmanuel Okoh, popularly known as Okwuluora, to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
He said: “A preliminary investigation has revealed that the suspect confessed to the crime, as he created the fake ‘Okwuluora’ Facebook account in January 2023 and has since been using it to solicit funds from his over 33,000 followers.
“The suspect further stated that he usually waits for the actual ‘Okwuluora’ to make a post, soliciting support for persons in situations requiring financial assistance.
“Upon sighting such posts, he immediately copies and posts them on the fake Facebook account and changed the beneficiary’s account details to his, thereby fraudulently obtaining funds from unsuspecting donors.”
The police spokesman noted that by so doing, the suspect had received funds running into tens of thousands of Naira from donors.
Ndukwe said that the state Commissioner of Police, CP Kanayo Uzuegbu, had ordered the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department to conduct a further thorough investigation and timely prosecution of the suspect.
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He said: “The commissioner, therefore, enjoins victims of the fraudulent act to report to the State CID and volunteer their statements.
“The commissioner also called on the citizenry to be wary of social media impostors and their fraudulent activities, especially this yuletide.”