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Police Nab Fake VOA Reporter In Edo


FROM IGNATIUS OKPARA, Benin City – The Edo State Police Command has apprehended a fake journalist, identified as Yakubu Farouk, who has been posing as the Niger Delta correspondent of the Hausa service of the Voice of America, VOA.

According to the security operative, Farouk, who hails from Nasarawa State, was nabbed by police officers attached to the Oba Market Police Division, after he demanded money from the Chairman of the Hausa community in Edo State, Alhaji Badamasi Saleh, for interview.

On interrogation, the suspect said that he had told his victim that he was a freelance journalist with the international medium, after he was sacked from a local Nigerian newspaper, the Democrat, based in Kaduna over an alleged embezzlement of an advert payment of N300,000.

He said: “Actually, I came as a journalist and they discovered that I was not working with the medium I claimed to be working with.

“I have not really duped anybody; this is the first man I spoke with and I was caught.” he confessed

But contrary Saleh told newsmen that the 35-year-old 2006 graduate of Mass Communication, from the Benue State Polytechnic, had arranged an interview with him on the 2015 general elections.

He said that he became suspicious of Farouk, when he demanded N5,000 after the interview and asked for a ride to the People’s Democratic Party state secretariat, where he intended to interview a candidate of the party.

The Hausa community leader said he realised that he was being swindled and drove Farouk to the police station instead.

“So, on our way to the PDP secretariat, I called the reporter covering Niger Delta, Lamid Abubakar, who told me to get him (Farouk) arrested and hand him over to the police because he was not a VOA employee.

“That was exactly what I did because I have never come across any journalist demanding for money after interviewing me.”

Confirming the arrest to newsmen on Monday in Benin city, while parading the suspect, outgoing Commissioner of Police in the state, Foluso Adebanjo, said the suspect would be charged to court as soon as investigation was completed in the matter.

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