Senior Official, Seven Others in $2 Billion Fraud Attempt in Edo
The long arms of the law have caught up with eight suspects in Edo State who allegedly attempted to defraud the federal government of a whopping $2 billion (USD). The arrest, according to the State Police Command, followed a complaint received by its crack team on April 25, 2022, via a petition from Grand Chief Richard David, a representative of the Okpella community, in the Etsako Central local government area of the state. .
Chidi Nwabuzor, Superintendent of Police, SP, and Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO) told reporters on Tuesday that the suspects had, on July 14, 2021, appeared before the Complainant and his relatives and told them that they had Obtained Federal Government approval, through the Office of the Secretary of the Federation Government (SGF), to dispose of the two billion dollar worth of waste pipeline equipment. The said equipment was intended for the Okpella water project by the federal government under the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).
According to Nwabuzor, “People in the community, who were apprehensive, wisely refused to evacuate the property. This action by Okpella residents, however, prompted one of the suspects to come to the Okpella police station to report that the community was refusing them to remove the items. During the investigation, the police discovered the facts through the confession of one of the suspects, who is a staff member of the Federal Ministry of Special and Intergovernmental Affairs in Abuja. Said suspect also admitted to falsifying the presidency’s approval for the operation’s auction documents.
The police spokesman said the investigation was complete and the suspects would soon be brought to justice.
Nwabuzor called on residents of the state to help the command by giving information on suspected criminals and criminal activity by “saying something, when they see something”.
Admitting to the crime, staff from the federal Department of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs and a senior administrative officer told reporters he was the “sole author” of the forged document. According to him, “I am the sole author of the false document which would come from the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF).
“The plan was a collaborative work between myself and the staff of IREK Engineering LTD, a company based here in Benin. Personally, I received the letter from the wrong side because the documents addressed to the Governor of Edo, the Edo Police Commissioner, as well as all relevant security agencies, were tampered with.
He revealed that the only money he got for his efforts in the whole process was ₦500,000 as a token of appreciation.
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