Apeh Peterhot: How blogger allegedly defrauded UK-based activist of N2.2m
Apeh Peterhot allegedly bought a jeep from proceeds of the N2.2m gotten from the UK-based Nigerian activist, Philip Agbese.
A Benue born blogger, Apeh Peterhot has been arrested for allegedly defrauding a UK-based activist, Philip Agbese of N2.2 million.
Apeh was said to have created a pseudo Facebook account in the name of Queen Ann Ochoga which he allegedly used to defraud Mr Agbese of the said sum of money.
The money was meant for the purchase of two fairly used cars.
The blogger was said to have requested that money be transferred to the account of one Mrs Ann Johnson, a pregnant woman and friend of his.
Agbese sent the money to Mrs Johnson’s Access Bank account twice — N1.8 million and N400,000 respectively.
Mrs Johnson who claimed ignorance of the intent of the money thereafter transferred the money to Apeh’s account.
When Agbese arrived Nigeria from the UK, all attempts to reach Queen Ann Ochoga for the delivery of his two cars failed.
Few days later, an obituary of Miss Ochoga was posted on Facebook. Miss Ochoga was said to have died in an accident with her fiancé.
Agbese sent a condolence message to Ochoga’s family in Ado local government of Benue state (being the only family with that name) over the death of their daughter.
The family replied saying they "had no daughter in the name of Queen Ann Ochoga."
Agbese soon discovered that the said Facebook account was fake.
Sensing foul play, he thereafter petitioned the FCT Commissioner of Police over the matter.
Investigations into the matter revealed that money was transferred to Apeh from Mrs Ann Johnson's account almost immediately after Agbese made the payment.
Mrs Johnson, whose account was used to send the money thereafter turned herself in at the Nyanya police station in Abuja to make a confessional statement.
She alleged that Apeh had approached her in request for her account details, under the pretence that he had issues with his BVN.
She accepted and the first chunk of N1.8 million was transferred to her. Apeh asked her to keep N20,000. Similarly, she was told to take N10,000 from the next payment of N400,000.
At this point, she was considered an accomplice in the said crime and thereafter detained at the police station.
All attempts to reach Apeh proved abortive.
The blogger took to Facebook to explain his involvement in the matter.
He alleged that the UK-based activist was after him for attempting to investigate the authenticity of Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom’s academic certificates.
The culprit also noted that he was being witch haunted for attacking the governor for distributing wheelbarrows to youths in the state.
“It may be well planned but my hands are clean,” Apeh post reads.
“I knew these things will definitely come back at me in some way, anyway at all because the numerous threat that greeted my attempt to investigate the Governor's academic credentials and the much publicised wheelbarrow empowerment that has taken over the cyberspace against the State.
“I stopped the investigation into the academic procession of the Governor and had to change my location from Abuja for safety purposes.
“Immediately the Wheelbarrow scheme came up, I had resolved never to touch ground in Abuja or Benue soon because of the numerous threat that swept my feet.
“Though I have written a few things in the past and I have faced the consequences squarely, these two are the new posts that I thought could consume my life and it is coming in some way through someone very close to me.
“I have it on good note from a number of friends to be very careful lately, especially after the wheelbarrow post escalated and my refusal to revert the post after much pressure from some reasonable quota.
“Originally I wasn't the author of the wheelbarrow leak but I was shocked when over 720 persons shared the simple headline that has brought so much concern to the State Government. As a blogger, 50% of my investigations touches and worries some notable persons but I have always been responsible for whatever I post, being sure of its authentication.
“Anyway, that I disguised as one Queen Ochoga to defraud my own friend, Agbese Philip is a huge strike that is meant to break my wings but it will definitely not stop here. At the end, justification will prove us all right.
“Whatever judgement you make is not of God. I will meet the necessary end over this new smear campaign against my person,” he concluded.
After days of ‘failing’ to appear at the Nyanya police station, the blogger was arrested in Lagos on Tuesday, May 24, 2017, following a top-off.
Apeh was said to have allegedly bought a jeep from proceeds of the crime. The jeep is also in Police custody.
He is being held at Idimu Police Station, Area M, Alimoso Division of Lagos command, pending a signal from the FCT command, where the matter is being handled.
Apeh is the publisher of New Nigerian Reporters.