Anambra arrests eight for N800,000 fraud

CITIZENS COMPASS –The Anambra State Government, through the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare, has arrested eight suspects for allegedly extorting over N800,000 from some women in Awka.

Chidimma Ikeanyionwu, the Media Aide to the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, disclosed this in a statement.

She said the arrest was in collaboration with security operatives in the State.

According to her, the exercise came following the directive of the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, of an NGO, using the government’s name to extort the sum of N20,000 and above from unsuspecting individuals mostly women in Awka.

“When the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare burst the office complex of the Host Communities of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter, located opposite the Government House, Awka, it was discovered that the suspects were operating with a staff of a bank(name withheld) in opening a current account for the women who must pay the sum of N10,000 in cash and purchase the association’s form with another N10,000 making it N20,000 for one individual.

“It was also discovered that these suspects had earlier recruited local government coordinators in all the 21 local government areas of the state who they made in charge of the registration done in cash while the bank staff were in charge of opening accounts at the office complex.”

“When asked if the Commissioner for Oil, Gas, and Industry is aware of the operation, Mrs Igboka stated that she cannot inform the commissioner because it is not his/her business.

“While the questioning was ongoing, the ministry’s staff were able to recover the sum of N146,500, being the money made from registration of a local government, some forms which had been filled and others yet to be filled, and a smartphone which was handed over to the police.”

Some of the women who spoke to journalists, Maryann Obikwe from Ọgbaru LGA and Nneka from Oyi oney they used for the registration and account opening, claiming that they were told that the process is to help secure cooking jobs for them in schools.

“Some other women, who spoke under anonymity, claimed that the suspect and her team assured them of oil money and school feeding jobs as well.”

At press time, eight suspects, including the items recovered, have been handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department in Awka for further investigation while the matter will be charged to court.

Obinabo has instructed that those who were defrauded by the suspects should come to Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Center in Awka, start the process of refund.

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