Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fake CNN Reporter Swindles Bayelsa Government, Officials

Paul Yempe, who passed himself off as a journalist working for the
US-based Cable News Network (CNN), succeeded in swindling key
officials of the Bayelsa Stategovernment, SaharaReporters has
discovered. Our sourcesin the state and within law enforcement
disclosed thatthe fraudster obtained various sums of money running
into millions of naira from state officials who were desperate to
receive favorable coverage about the state beset by rising insecurity
and incessant kidnappings.
Investigations by SaharaReporters revealed that Allison Okuro, the
secretary to the Bayelsa government, as well as Martins Fefegha, the
state's commissioner of Information, were among the victims who lost
money in the fraudulent deal that was recently exposed.
A source said the fake reporter had moved round several government
ministries, departments and agencies collecting bribes before his luck
ran out.
Our reporter learned that Mr. Okuro, a professor, had offered hotel
accommodation to the imposter and had written a memo seeking the
release of funds for a phonydocumentary promised by the fake reporter
in addition to advance cash payments to Mr. Yempe.
Contacted to react on his involvement, the Commissionerfor Information
declined to state the amount of money he had advanced to the fake
journalist. He however admitted that there were plans to lodge money
into the reporter's account before the deceptive deal came to
Mr. Yempe was taken into custody when he approached the Bayelsa State
Commissioner for Energy to solicit funds for an interview for a
supposed documentary to beaired on CNN.
Police spokesman Alex Akhigbe confirmed the arrest, but said the case
was still being investigated. He declined to mention the number of
officials fleeced of cash by the fake reporter or to reveal the amount
A reporter in Bayelsa told SaharaReporters that Mr. Yempe is a senior
staff of Radio Rivers in Port Harcourt.
CNN could not immediately confirm if it has any connection with the
suspected fake reporter

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