By Abdul Inuwa, Abuja
A syndicate that specializes in digging out information against politically exposed persons for the purpose of material extortion and blackmail has been exposed and could now be the subject of a call for investigation.
The syndicate’s style of operation was detailed in a petition submitted to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase dated 06/06/2016, sighted by our correspondent.
The document revealed that the syndicate works with compromised staff of government agencies to obtain classified files on politically exposed persons and then extract information that they use to write petitions for blackmailing and extorting their marks.
The petition to the IGP gave suite B14C, 3rd Floor, Real Tower Centre, opposite Peace Park Utako, Abuja as the address from where these characters carryout their daily operation.
“Available information shows that a purported legal practitioner is the head of the ring while other accomplices are planted in strategic government establishment. It is confirmed that for a fee, the syndicate could be hired to raise malicious petitions. We are also informed that they go extra miles to source their information and this include hacking government websites or bribing insiders to enable them access classified document.
Further Investigation revealed that the syndicate has successfully used this approach to swindle a couple of politicians who complied with their demand for money to prevent such names from being linked with investigations by anti-graft agencies after they were shown fictitious petitions put up by the group.
The petition to the IGP proposes for members of the group to be apprehended and tried. It said, “A further indication of the mischievous intent of this group is that it does not use any right channel approved by law in its quest to get these documents by all means as they rather go through clandestine means or induce staff of agencies.”
“Once they lay their hands on the classified information they seek, the lawyers will then plead human right to ensure they overwhelm the streets of Abuja and other major cities with paid protesters if their subject fail to meet their demands. It will be noted that the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCB] website was recently hacked, ” a development that is not far from the operation of the syndicate.
We make this petition to your esteemed office to draw your attention to this dangerous development which is capable of derailing President Muhammadu Buhari war against corruption should the perpetrators be allowed to continue operating without being brought to book. Their action is also dangerous to the sustenance of our democracy as this abuse of official records of government.
“We pray you to kindly cause an investigation to be carried out into the activities of these elements with a view to making them face the law and putting a stop to their nefarious activities. We are confident that your office will treat our concern with dispatch,” the letter requested.