Richard Ginika Izuora
The Police in Abuja, on Monday arrested two persons for allegedly impersonating the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Muhammad Nami, on Facebook with the intent to defraud unsuspecting job-seekers.
One Miss. Onuoha Onachi who claimed to be a graduate of Imo State University awaiting call-up for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and her lover, Chinedu Okoro, were arrested in Abuja over the offence.
A team from the Intelligence and Investigation Unit of the FIRS nabbed the duo following a complaint by their victims and thereafter handed the suspects to the Police.
The FIRS in a statement signed by the Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad said Okoro, who claimed to have been the owner of a failed boutique business, confessed that he took to the crime of impersonating the FIRS chairman on Facebook in March 2020 and created a phantom Director of the service with the name, Alhaji Tanko to dupe their victims.
According to Okoro, he opened two false Facebook accounts in the name of the FIRS chairman and the fictive Alhaji Tanko and populated one of the accounts with pictures of Nami and the other with the internet-generated pictures of an innocent person to stand for Alhaji Tanko.
Through an elaborate scheme, Okoro proceeded to represent himself to unsuspecting job applicants whom he directed to one Kayode who in reality is the female suspect, Miss Onuoha.
Speaking as the phantom Kayode, Onuoha then redirected their victims to the fictitious Alhaji Tanko who in reality is Mr Okoro, the mastermind of the crime.
Speaking as Alhaji Tanko, Okoro then confirmed the availability of jobs at a price at the FIRS to the victims who were then cajoled to part with at least 60 per cent of a lump-some to secure their purported slots.
The statement said Okoro confessed that he charged as much as N350, 000 per victim while Miss Onuoha admitted to having made N170,000 from the crime before being caught.
The suspects also confessed to have impersonated the Head of Service of the Federation to defraud job seekers in the past.
They also confessed that the FIRS chairman knew nothing about their fraudulent activities as they have never met or had any kind of communication with Nami.
The FIRS said it had consistently alerted the public in general to the activities of fraudsters like Okoro and Miss Onuoha through periodic job scam disclaimers published in national dailies and on many online news websites in the country.