The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a man, Adeyinka Adetope, for posing as a reporter with Punch newspapers and allegedly obtaining money from people under false pretences.
Adeyinka was arrested on the premises of a private secondary school in Akowonjo, Lagos, where he had allegedly gone to collect a laptop and N50,000 meant for a fictitious editor of The Punch.
It was learnt that Adetope, who allegedly showed the management of the school his Punch Identity Card, had promised that the laptop and the cash would guarantee a free publicity for the school for six months.
He submitted a proposal to the school, written on a cloned Punch letterhead, suggesting ways in which the newspapers could be beneficial to the school.
He also interviewed the proprietor and the principal of the school, promising them a good mention in the newspaper. He was rewarded with N10,000 and also given gifts to give to his ‘editor’.
Trouble started for Adetope when the purported editor called to thank the school and to promise them that the story would soon be out.
According to a teacher in the school, the principal, after receiving the call, sensed that the voices of the ‘editor’ and that of Adetope could be the same.
The school subsequently called the Punch office, where the teachers were advised to play along with him (Adetope). Punch also alerted the police.
At about 4.55pm on Wednesday, Adetope walked into the school and was thereafter arrested and taken to Shasha Police Division.
Adetope, said he did not portray himself as a full reporter, but a freelance; a claim that was found to be false.
He said, “The N10,000 was a voluntary donation. I did not collect it on behalf of Punch.”
Spokesperson of the state command, Ngozi Braide, however said after the conclusion of police investigation, Adetope would be taken to court.”