Metro & Crime

How suspect swindled 121 desperate job seekers

 

Juliana Francis

 

Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested Mr. Hamza Abdullahi for allegedly defrauding 121 desperate job seekers.

The suspect, while speaking with journalists, said that he couldn’t recollect how much he had collected so far from these job hunters.

Abdullahi was said to have hoodwinked his victims by giving them employment letters to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).

According to the police, the suspect was arrested on November 22, 2021 at Bauchi metropolis after Beatrice Itodo, reported to the Police unit’s office that the suspect swindled her a total of N2,366,000, through fake employment letters issued to many of her relatives purported to be by the agency.

The suspect, who said he is the ninth child in a polygamous family, added that he issued the fake employment letters to the job seekers as a staff of the NIMET and they paid him through his Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Account number 0018546542.

He further stated: “I was a senior school certificate holder, employed by the NIMET in 2003. I was dismissed and later reinstated and trained at Oshodi Training Institution of the Agency in 2012. I was later posted to Nguru Yobe State where I worked before I started criminal activities. I issued fake employment letters to a total of 121 job seekers through fake letters of appointment designed with the agency’s logo and staff signature before my arrest.”

He also admitted through a confessional statement to the Police detectives to have collected a total of N5, 173,000.00 from the job seekers through his bank account.

He also said: “I knew Beatrice Itodo through Engineer Zumunta Kushi who was introduced to me by a close friend. I usually call the woman on her two phone numbers to negotiate the number of job seekers and payment for the scam. She had paid N2, 366,000.00 to me through my GTB account number for 15 job seekers initially and the fake employment letters with NIMET letterhead were issued to them through electronic mail addresses. Beatrice, who reported the matter to the Police, brought an additional 33 names to me, to provide them with the same job and employment letters and promissory notes and the communication was between us before the bubble burst. I cannot remember how much I had collected based on individuals, but the total amount is N2, 366,000.00. All the money was received via my account number as stated above.”

Abdullahi revealed that he used the funds from the fraud to build a house at Kandahar Bauchi metropolis with the intention that when his victims showed up, he would sell it and refund them.

He further said that he has not worked for anybody all through his adult life, stressing that only one of his account numbers was used for the fraud. A copy of one of the employment letters showed that it was dated March 1st, 2021, signed by Rabi Mohammed D Director of Admin and Supply for the Managing Director of NIMET.

Police sources said that investigations were still ongoing and already police were closing in on those behind the design and printing of the fake employment letters.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, used the opportunity to warn unemployed Nigerians desperately seeking for employment to ensure they conducted necessary checks before engaging in such ventures with private citizens.

 

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