Yenagoa – The Bayelsa Command of the State Security Services (SSS) has arrested a 32-year- old bricklayer, Mr Ebipare Pazi for alleged impersonation as an officer of the service.
The Bayelsa Director of the SSS, Mr Andrew Iorkyar revealed this while parading the suspect on Wednesday in Yenagoa.
He said that investigations showed that Pazi’s dubious activities started in 2004 when he started extorting money from applicants who were desirous of enlisting into the SSS.
“The suspect is apprehended for forgery of purported SSS recruitment forms, impersonating as an SSS operative and for duping of unsuspecting members of the public on the pretext of effecting their enlistment into the service.’’
Iorkyar said that the suspect, who had since confessed to the crime, charged his victims N150, 000 for enlistment and an additional N350, 000 for further training in the elitist cadre.
He said that Pazi had told some of his victims who could not afford to pay at once to pay in three instalments.
According to him, the suspect tells them that on full payment, they will be enlisted in subsequent batches of the recruitment programme, which is a quarterly exercise.
“Pazi said he was merely exploiting unemployment situation in the country and the desire by youths to be members of the SSS but were frustrated because application into the service was not online,” Iorkyar said.
He said that the suspect was generally regarded as an SSS operative within his neighbourhood at the Water Board Road, Ovom, Yenagoa.
He said that at one time, Pazi had convinced his victims that he was detailed by President Goodluck Jonathan to employ Niger Delta indigenes into the service.
The director said that the service had so far recovered some of the fake recruitment forms after executing a search warrant on his residence and at a business centre of one of his collaborators.
“The service had also obtained very useful information from his victims in the course of its investigation. We wish to say here that the suspect will be charged to court shortly. ‘’
Iorkyar advised members of the public to be wary of people who claimed to be officers of the service to extort money from unsuspecting victims.
He also reminded the public that the recruitment policy of the SSS was open to all Nigerians at no cost.