A retired colonel, Bassey Jackson-Umoh, was on Thursday paraded by the Cross River State Police command for allegedly stealing a 2008 model of Toyota Highlander belonging to a member of the Cross River House of Assembly, Mr. Steven Okpupken
Briefing Punch Metro on the development at the command headquarters in Calabar, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. John Eluu, said the suspect was arrested with the vehicle in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State following complaints from a car dealer.
He said the retired colonel, who allegedly posed as Maj.-Gen Peter Williams, attached to the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, had issued a dud cheque to the car dealer and left an old Toyota Camry car in the dealer’s custody.
But the suspect while being paraded boasted that he would deal with all those connected with his travail when he regained his freedom.
“At the end of the day, the truth will come out and I will deal with all those connected with this and everybody connected will pay for it,” he boasted.
However, the PPRO maintained that the blue Toyota Highlander with number plate, Cross River BKS 214 AA, was received fraudulently.
He said, “On October 5, 2015, one Mr. Steven Okpukpen, a member of the state House of Assembly, came to the command with a written petition that he gave out his 2008 Toyota Highlander for sale. He gave the light blue vehicle to the owner of Micah Motors to be placed for sale at the cost of N3m.
“He stated that to his surprise, the manager of Micah Motors informed him that one retired Maj. Gen. Peter Williams came to his car shop and indicated interest to buy the Highlander and another Honda Accord car for N7.5m.
“In his petition, he also stated that the said retired colonel, who introduced himself as Maj. Gen. Peter Williams, had on October 3, issued a post-dated cheque to be cashed on October 5, by the Managing Director of Micah Motors. But on presentation of the cheque to the bank, it was dishonoured by the bank for insufficient funds.”
The PPRO said upon receipt of the information, a team of detective from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the state trailed the suspect to Uyo where he was arrested.
He added, “During investigation, the suspect confessed to the police that his real name was Col. Bassey Jackson-Umoh (retd). He said that Maj. Gen. Peter Williams was his fake business name which he used in duping members of the public.
“He equally confessed that he was fully aware that there was no money in the said bank account. He confessed that since his Toyota Camry car was bad and he needed a new car and had no money to buy a new one, he had to convince the car dealer that there was money in the said bank account. He did this dirty deal so as to allow him take possession of the Toyota Highlander and the Honda car.”
While noting that investigation was still ongoing, Eluu advised members of the public to be wary of fraudsters.