Two suspected fraudsters, Charles Abam and Felix Machi, have been paraded by the police for attempting to defraud friends and relations of President Muhammadu Buhari. The suspects, who were rounded up by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, in Asaba, Delta State, were said to have used fake identity to get across to the president’s children. When interviewed, one the suspects, Abam, who was an ex-policeman, said he went into fraud in 2014, because he could not secure a decent job. The 36-year-old man, who is a native of Ndukwa East area of Delta State, regretted ever attempting to defraud members of the first family.
Narrating his ordeal, he said, “I went into fraud in 2014, and I joined the illegal business because I couldn’t secure a decent job after I lost my job as a policeman. I wasn’t dismissed from service, I lost my job in 2003, when I had an opportunity to travel out of the country. I left my duty post and went on to process my documents , but I was defrauded and I lost all my money. I went back to my job and begged to be reinstated but I was told that I have been declared a deserter. I also applied for a bank security job but I was not accepted. When I went into fraud, I started with the internet but I wasn’t making enough money then, I went into local fraud.
“One of my friends, known as Mike, though he is late now taught me how to do it. He gave me several ideas which I could use to get my victims and he also linked me to people who would sell phone numbers of prominent politicians to me. I also met Felix, who later became my partner as he was the one who provided the accounts I gave to my victims. Before I attempted to defraud the president’s children, I had defrauded several politicians across the country pretending to be a kidney patient. I would contact these politicians telling them that I needed money for kidney transplant and a lot of them sent money to me.
“I got N70,000 from Hon. Emeka Obinna, a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, and N50,000 from Hon, Ossy, Commissioner for Lands, Delta State. One Senator Ahmed Kamoni, gave me N150,000, while another member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Obinna Uzor, gave me N50,000. I also got N50,000 from Senator Ahmed Yerima while former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Orisajefor, gave me N100,000. The Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Aniofor Udo, also gave me N100,000. A former Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Daniel Abia, gave me, N55,000.
“I gave Felix my accomplice ten percent of any money I got using kidney transplant story. In march we decided to up our game and make more money. Then I thought about hitting the president’s children. Since I have contacts of top politicians in Delta State, I sent an SMS to the APC Chairman Delta State, Prophet Enu, and identified myself as the PDP Chairman in Delta State and asked him to give me the contact to the APC Woman Leader, Hajia Tijani, He sent the number of the woman to me, then I sent a message to the woman identifying myself as Senator Daisy Danjuma, wife of General T.Y Danjuma and I requested for the numbers of the president’s children and that of his uncle.
“She told me that she didn’t have their numbers but she had that of the brother to the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari. When I got the number I sent an SMS to him again and he sent me the phone numbers to the president’s children and Maman Daura, I then sent them a message to nominate five people they wanted to secure jobs at the NDLEA, because we have given them five slots each.
“Later, I got eight names but when I started communicating with them, they were not cooperating. I also sent them an account number and none of them paid money into it. Thereafter, I started receiving calls from people threatening to arrest me. I believed they were policemen, then I destroyed my phones and sim cards, believing that would prevent them from arresting me, but last Saturday the police showed up at my place and apprehended me. They took me to Delta State Police Command, before they brought me to Abuja. I didn’t know that this little trick will get me into trouble as big as this.”