By NBF News

ICPC arrests 7 over fake LG conference
From Mariam Aleshinloye Agboola, Jos
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has nabbed three conmen suspected to have put up a phony conference in Abuja last week ostensibly for 774 local governments in Nigeria.

Also arrested by ICPC detectives were two female staff of Ecobank assigned to collect the conference levy, an ICPC official named Nosa as well as a lawyer who was to serve as a resource person at the conference. The suspected conmen, Adedimeji Michael, Roger Peace and Remison Jimmy of Educational Reporters International had put up the fake conference allegedly with the motive of duping local government officials who subscribed to the conference.

The suspected conmen would have smiled to the banks with nothing less than N30 billion on the basis that each local government paid the sum of N40,000 conference fee.

They had already succeeded in attracting more than 400 council chairmen and their officials to the Women Development Center venue of the conference and had gone ahead to obtain N40,000 fee from those who turned up so far. The suspected fraudsters, according to ICPC, had conned chairmen of local government areas with a letter purportedly written by the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), even as they equally dropped the name of ICPC as co-organiser.

According to ICPC, one Folodun O.B, said to be an officer in the SGF's office, signed the circular for the proposed conference. Luck, however, ran out on the suspects when officials of ICPC, acting on a distress call from a local government chairmen, stormed the venue of the conference and effected their arrest. Resident Consultant to ICPC on Media and Events, Mr Folu Olamiti, said the commission was intensifying effort to unmask other accomplices in the shady deal.