A fake, illegal non-government organisation (NGO responsible for bringing ill people to Lagos and using them for begging has been busted b the Lagos State Police Command.
Four members of the syndicate, Paul Samuel, Chukwuma Igbokwe, 24, Ofiga Ayuba, 18 and Bright Edet, 32, have been arrested.
Police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal said the suspects usually lured people having health challenges from Benue State, with a promise of helping them to get treatment, only to dump them after using them to make money from motorists and residents.
It waslearnt a female victim, Tina, battling a cancerous growth on her face, was allegedly impregnated by a member of the group.
Edgal said: “About 8 pm on May 27, a Lagos-based NGO informed the police about the illegal activities of an unregistered NGO operating as a body that helps people with debilitating diseases to raise fund for treatment.
“Based on the report, police detectives attached to Ilemba Hausa Division swung into action. They found Jacob Monday, of Obi Local Government of Benue State, who reported that the ‘NGO’ brought him to Lagos on the pretext that they will assist him to raise money for surgery.
“He said they made him to beg for money in the streets of Lagos, which he has been doing in the last three months. The money realised from the begging was given to the syndicate’s leaders, Paul Samuel and Jacob Ogochukwu.
“A search for the leaders led to the arrest of Samuel and his associates – Chukwuma Igbokwe, of 12, Olorepe Street, Egbeda, Lagos; Ofiga Ayuba of Vendekia village, Benue State and Bright Edet, of no fixed address.
“They were identified by the victim as members of the fake NGO. The suspects confessed that they worked for Samuel and Ugochukwu. The latter is at large, but he will soon be arrested.
“Those in our net will be arraigned after investigation.”
Tina said she had been with the syndicate for over three years, adding that instead of helping her with surgery, she ended up getting impregnated.
She said: “They impregnated me. I don’t have anywhere to go because my parents are poor. They said they need about N5 million to carry out the surgery. Each time I ask them how far they have gone, they would say they were making efforts.”