The ICPC has apprehended one Mr Umanah Umanah for allegedly impersonating and duping several unsuspecting job seekers.
In a statement by the ICPC’s public enlightenment commissioner, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, the commission stated that the suspect and members of Umanah’s syndicate floated a loan scheme tagged, “President Muhammadu Buhari Poverty Alleviation Programme.”
ICPC boss, Mr Ekpo Nta
According to the ICPC, the fraudulent scheme offered an unspecified number of unemployed Nigerians loans to the tune of N1m on the condition that they pay between N5, 000 and N7, 000 for processing fees and a form.
Part of the statement read: “We arrested the ringleader of a fraudulent group that has been swindling unsuspecting Nigerians of their money through a fraudulent loan scheme tagged ‘President Mohammadu Buhari Poverty Alleviation Programme’.
“The scheme under the auspices of Magic Project Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society offered to beneficiaries interest-free and collateral-free loans up to the tune of N1m repayable over a period of 10 years. The beneficiaries had the option of repaying weekly N2, 100 or monthly N8, 400.
“However, to secure this loan, the applicant had to pay for an application form and a processing fee of N7, 000 and N5, 000 respectively.
“Further investigations by ICPC revealed that in spite of the fairly large number of applications over the period of time the group had been operating, not one applicant had received the loan.”
Further investigations indicated that the scheme was neither registered with any financial institution, the Central Bank of Nigeria nor the Abuja Municipal Area Council.
“It became obvious that Umanah and his group’s hoodwinking of unsuspecting clients into paying the said sums for the purpose of the supposed loan was the actual target of the whole fraud scheme,” the statement added.
The ICPC said Umanah will be suspect will be charged to court accordingly, even as the commission warned members of the public to be wary of dubious individuals and groups.
The anti-graft commission further encouraged Nigerians to always conduct checks with relevant authorities before committing their resources into business deals that promise fantastic returns.
Meanwhile, the ICPC has urged Nigerians to report corrupt politicians and practices to the commission. The call was made by Mr Stephen Pimor who is the ICPC commissioner for Oyo/Ogun zone recently.
Pimor assured that the commission will investigate credible petitions and that whistle-blowers will be fully protected.