From James Ojo, Abuja and Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has returned N36, 186,12.00 to Mrs Ifeoma Chukwuogo, Proprietress of Jephtah International School, East-West Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State as money recovered from three suspected fraudsters. According to the commission, the money was allegedly diverted from the school’s bank account for their private use.
The suspects Cyril, a staff of Access Bank Plc, who was the Account Officer of the school, Boma, who posed as the Customer Relations Officer of the bank and Aderemi, who prints fake documents, allegedly diverted over N37,000,000 belonging to the school.
Presenting the money to the school proprietres, Port Harcourt Zonal Head of Operations of the EFCC, Mr. Ishaq Salihu, disclosed that apart from the cash recovery, the commission also recovered other suspected proceeds of crime including a three-bedroom and two 2-bedroom bungalows.
He commended Access Bank for promptly reporting the case. The matter was reported September 7, 2017 after the school’s cheques could not be honored for days.
Salihu explained that at the beginning of every new term, the suspect would visit the school to collect fees paid in cash and cheque by parents and issued deposit slips to the school.
Investigations showed that the suspect only lodged the cheques but diverted the cash collected for his personal use. Besides, the account’s officer issued doctored Statements of Account to the school in a bid to cover up his nefarious actions. Salihu further disclosed that another accomplice, Moses, printed fake letter heads of another organisation where he is also the account officer and was using its money to pay Jephtah International School’s staff salaries.
In her response, Mrs Chukwuogo thanked the EFCC for its swift response and called on Nigerians to give more support to the commission. “On behalf of Jephtah International Schools, I want to say a very big thank you for helping us to recover the money,” she said.
The anti-graft agency also said that it arrested one Tasiu and his accomplice, Haruna over alleged crime bordering on impersonation.
According to Salihu, Haruna and Tasiu allegedly cloned the Facebook account of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere, to dupe unsuspecting Nigerian job seekers.
The commission also said it arrested one Okunado for allegedly impersonating top government officials, including Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Felix Obuah.