The Nigerian Police, Edo state command, announced on Tuesday, May 7, that it has uncovered an attempt by eight Nigerians to defraud the country of a whooping $2billion belonging to the federal government. The command added that it has arrested the suspects.
Command spokesperson, Superintendment of Police, Chidi Nwabuzor, explained that the arrest following the receipt of a petition from a community leader, Richard David, of Okpella, Etsako Central council area.
One of the arrested suspects, whose name was not disclosed but said to be an official of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, reportedly confessed that he produced a fake document that was used in the criminal deal.
According to Supol Nwabuzor, the suspects, who confessed being the originator of the fake document, disclosed that they secured an approval from the Federal Government, through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, to evacuate scrap bore-hole pipes equipment worth $2billion.
The suspect also revealed however, that he collaborated with an official of an engineering company in Benin to procure forged documents meant for the Okpella water project by the Federal Government under the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, addressed to the Edo Governor, the Commissioner of Police in Edo and all relevant security agencies.
“I got the letter from the wrong side as the documents which meant for the Okpella water project by the Federal Government under the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF addressed to the Edo Governor, the Commissioner of Police in Edo and all relevant security agencies were forged,” he said.
Sensing that the evacuation was fraudulent, community members mounted opposition movement of the items, following which one of the fraudsters reported the matter at the Okpella police station. Subsequent investigation revealed however, that the intended evacuation was fraudulent.
“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 evacuating 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.
Supol Nwabuzor appealed to residents of the state to help the police by giving information on the activities of suspected criminals, added that investigations have been concluded, noting that the suspects would soon be charged to court.
“Investigation has been concluded and the suspects would soon be charged to court”, Mr Nwabuzor said.