Two members of a fraudulent gang have been arrested by the police for allegedly parading themselves as officials of the Kaduna State Government to commit fraud.
The suspects are Adamu Garuba, who impersonated a lawmaker in the state and his sister-in-law, Rita Waziri, who acted as the Commissioner for Works.
They reportedly connived with one Mayowa to swindle a Chinese seeking award of a road contract in the state out of N29.6m.
City Round learnt that Mayowa had approached the victim identified as Su at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in July 2018, telling him that the Kaduna State Government was searching for contractors to rehabilitate a 14-kilometre road in the Kagoro area of the state.
Mayowa, who is said to be currently serving a jail term in Lagos, introduced Su to Garuba as honourable Ibrahim, the Chairman, Budget and Planning Committee of the House.
Garuba reportedly requested Su to pay N1.6m to register his company with the Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority.
After paying the sum, the suspects reportedly invited Su to a makeshift office on the premises of the state government secretariat, with their pictures hung on the wall.
A member of the syndicate, identified as Captain who is still at large, also paraded himself as Commissioner for Finance.
“The sum of N28m was collected from Su after negotiation of the contract and a fake contract letter was issued to him. Few months after, he became suspicious of the deal and contacted Garuba demanding a refund,” a police source said.
Su was said to have petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who directed operatives of the Intelligence Response Team led by DCP Abba Kyari, to track down the suspects.
It was learnt that the team arrested Waziri recently and she led them to Garuba.
Garuba, a 51-year-old native of Kagoma, in the Jamal Local Government Area of the state, said he got N15m as his share of the fraud which he used to build a house.
He said, “Mayowa brought the Chinese man’s job. We collected N1.6m first from the man for the registration of his company. We then took the man to Kaduna State Government House and we used the reception of an office to execute the job. We were four that did the job.
“Waziri, who is my elder brother’s wife acted as the Commissioner for Works. We hung her picture beside that of the governor and President to make it look official. Captain played the role of the Commissioner for Finance, Kaduna State while I acted as a member of the state House of Assembly,
“We told the Chinese man that the governor wanted him to rehabilitate a 14-kilometre road in the Kagoro area of Southern Kaduna and that he would start with seven kilometres, which would cost N2bn.
“We demanded five per cent of the total cost immediately he is mobilised for the contract. We also showed him contractual agreements between his company and the Kaduna State Government. Afterwards, the man was convinced and paid us N28m in bribe.
“I got N15m as my share and gave Waziri N200,000 while Mayowa got N13m out of which he settled Captain. I used the money to build a house in a Government Reserved Area.”
Waziri, a trader, said she thought she was assisting her brother-in-law without knowing that she was committing a crime.
“Garuba is the younger brother of my husband and he was the person that took me to where I snapped the picture at Banawa shopping complex in Kaduna State. During our meeting with the Chinese man, I introduced myself as the Commissioner for Works and after we exchanged pleasantries I left.
“Later that day, Garuba called me and gave me N200,000. I thought the money was just a gift. I didn’t know they defrauded the Chinese,” she added.