Investigating Police Officers (IPO) attached to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command have allegedly rejected a bribe offer of N1, 995,000 from one Edet Okpo, who is facing a six-count charge of cybercrime and criminal defamation of character.
Okpo, 37, who is charged alongside his sister, Mary Okon Okwong, 48; Inyene Udo, 25; and others now at large, before Justice S.A. Amobeda of the Federal High Court, Calabar Division, was alleged to have withdrawn the money from a new generation bank branch in Uyo.
According to the charge sheet, the cash offered was aimed at compromising police officers investigating the allegations against the suspects.
The suspects were alleged to have demanded N200 million from the Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria through a WhatsApp conversation, using a phone line registered with fake identity and fingerprint of the second respondent.
They were also alleged to have threatened that the Rector will be subjected to public ridicule should he fail to oblige their request for money, for which defamatory publication will be made about him.
The suit filed by the Inspector General of Police read in part: “That you Edet Okpo ‘m’, Mary Okon Okwong ‘f’, Inyene Udo ‘m’ and others now at large, between May 2020 and June 2020 at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State, did conspire amongst yourselves to deceive and supplied false information to procure the registration of MTN SIM card No 08062119448 with fake name of Ndanti Anthony while bearing the picture and fingerprint of Inyene Udo with intention to conceal information and your true identity as required by Section 12 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12(1)(2)&b of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act CAP A6 Vol.1
“That on 27th day of June 2020, you did intentionally sent a WhatsApp message through GSM number 08036119448 bearing Mr Ndanti Anthony to Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua (rtd), Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria titled: Rot in MAN Oron, as Rector runs institution as personal estate, fingered in sexual scandal by Ndanti Anthony and Ikenna Obasi for the purpose of demanding the sum of N200, 000,000 from the Rector and causing him needless anxiety, thereby committing an offence punishable under section 24(1)(b) of the cybercrime Prevention Act.”
At the court sitting yesterday, one of the defence counsel had deposed to an affidavit in the application for bail alleging that the police had forced the accused at gunpoint to withdraw N2 million from an ATM machine.
The presiding judge adjourned the matter to November 25, to continue hearing the bail application.