The Police in Bayelsa State have arrested a 36-year-old man identified as Paul Yempe in Yenagoa, the state capital, for claiming to be a correspondent of the Cable News Network in the Niger Delta.
A source close to the police said the suspected fake CNN reporter was arrested with identity cards of the Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation and that of the CNN.
It was learnt that Yempe was arrested in the office of the state’s Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Akio Francis.
PUNCH Metro gathered that his apprehension was made possible by the coincidental presence of the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State chapter, Mr. Tare Akono.
Sources within the NUJ and the SSS said the fake reporter had allegedly swindled the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Markson Fefegha, and the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Edmund Allission-Oguru.
They said while Fefegha allegedly parted with a huge sum of money to feature the activities of Governor Seriake Dickson on the CNN, the SSG was alleged to have kept the suspected fake reporter in a luxury hotel in Yenagoa while perfecting a memo to raise money to pay for the anticipated documentary on CNN before the truth was revealed.
Reacting to the development, Akono said, “Attempts by the fake journalist to affirm his genuineness led to the discovery of a fake CNN ID card in his bag.
“He came to the office of the commissioner claiming to have come for an interview as part of a documentary he was working on for the state.
“When he came in, we asked him for his camera but he said he was using his mobile phone as a recorder. When we further interrogated him, we noticed he was a fake reporter as he started shivering and confessing he was not a CNN employee. That was how we handed him over to the police.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, confirmed the arrest.
“We have arrested the man. The matter is under investigation,” Akhigbe said.