Nigerian authorities have arrested a man who posed as a CNN correspondent in an effort to con politicians into giving him money in exchange for airtime.
Claiming he was working on a documentary for the American news channel, Paul Yempe set up a series of interviews with officials in southern Nigeria’s Bayelsa state who hold the purse strings to state coffers awash with petrodollars. The oil-rich state is served by poorly paid journalists who routinely collect bribes to write gushing stories about their sponsors, or poisonous ones about their sponsors’ rivals.
“He [Yempe] was parading himself as a correspondent of CNN who was following some ongoing oil strikes there,” Bayelsa police spokesperson Alex Akhigbe told the Guardian. “He had actually travelled from another state where he lives, so it’s possible he’s had been going up and down the place doing this.”