Eight suspects who attempted to defraud the Federal Government of Nigeria of $2 billion have been arrested by the Nigerian police force.
This was revealed by the Edo State police command Public Relations Officer (PPRO) SP Chidi Nwabuzor on Tuesday. The suspects are presently in the custody of the police in Edo State.
One of the suspects who is a staff of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs in Abuja provided fake documents claiming to have originated from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)
What you should know
Mr Nwabuzor said the suspects were arrested following a complaint received by the crack team of the state command on April 25.
He revealed that the complaint was made via a petition by one Chief Richard David, a representative of Okpella community, in Etsako Central Local Government Area of the state.
According to the PRO, on July 14, 2021, the suspects approached the complainant and his kinsmen saying they had secured a Federal Government’s approval from the SGF to evacuate scrap bore-hole pipes equipment worth $2 billion.
The equipment was meant for the Okpella water project by the Federal Government under the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).
- Accounting to newsmen, the PRO said “The community people who were apprehensive wisely disallowed the evacuation of the items.
- “This action by the Okpella people however prompted one of the suspects to go to the Okpella police station to report that the community refused them to evacuate the items.
- “During investigation, the police uncovered the fact of the matter through the confession of one of the suspects, who is a staff of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Abuja.
- “The said suspect also agreed to have forged the presidency approval for auctioneer documents for the operation.
- “Investigation has been concluded and the suspects would soon be charged to court.”
- The PPRO, urged residents of the state to help the command by giving information on suspected criminals and criminal activities noticed around them.
- One of the suspects earlier mentioned who produced the forged documents said “I am the sole originator of the fake document that was claimed to have originated from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
- “The plan was a collaborative job between myself and staff of IREK Engineering LTD, a company based here in Benin.
- “I personally got the letter from the wrong side as the documents which was addressed to the Edo Governor, the Commissioner of Police in Edo as well as all relevant security agencies were forged.”
He said he had received N500,000 as a token of appreciation for forging the documents.