YENAGOA, Nigeria Aug 28 Nigerian authorities
have arrested a citizen who posed as a CNN correspondent to try
to get money from politicians in exchange for interviews in
oil-producing Bayelsa state.
Paul Yempe was rumbled by a member of the local branch of
the national journalists union (NUJ) when he approached the
office of the state's energy commissioner to solicit an
interview for an alleged CNN documentary.
Tare Akono, state NUJ chairman, said by telephone that he
had handed the man over to the police for further questioning.
Police spokesman Alex Akhigbe confirmed this, but said the case
was still being investigated.
"Attempts by the fake journalist to affirm his genuineness
led to the discovery of a fake CNN identification card in his
bag," Akono said, adding that he actually worked for a local
station called Radio Rivers.
A CNN correspondent covering Nigeria confirmed the man was
not working for the cable network.
Akono said he was suspected of using the ID to persuade
officials to give him money in exchange for positive
documentaries about their work.
Although very free by the standards of the region, Nigeria's
press is often corrupt, with journalists and editors both taking
backhanders to write favourable stories about their sponsors -
or poisonous ones about their sponsors' enemies.
Many journalists are paid little, late or not at all and so
rely on cash from the subjects of their reporting just to make