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Police arrest fake solar energy sales-man in Lagos

By  Ifeanyi OKOLIE
When he walks into Corporate offices, neatly dressed in expensive suite with an identity card conspicuously swinging freely on his neck, one would pass Abubakar Tiza for a Super Sales Representative with any of the highly placed companies in the world.  

His exquisite outlook is always blended with a disarming smile.  When he speaks, his sugar -coated tongue will definitely enchant you.  That was how he succeeded in going round Lagos and beyond, claiming to be a sales representative for a Solar Energy company.  But unknown to his hosts, he was out to defraud whoever fell to his ruse.

His modus operandi included the presentation of a brochure, advertising solar energy generating equipment at very cheap rates.

His unsuspecting victims, including reputable media houses, schools and hospitals, swiftly parted with their money, hoping to receive supplies of the equipment at a stipulated time, only for the sales representative to disappear into thin air.

Police sources said some of his victims  reported the matter at various police divisions.  The police in a bid to stop his nefarious activities,  advised that they should call and offer him more money.  This plan paid off when the suspect was intercepted at the Television Continental station (TVC), a media house he had earlier duped the sum of N25, 000.

When Crime Guard had an encounter with the suspect, he admitted being a fraudster, but lamented, that he took to the crime when it became impossible for him to raise money for the treatment of his ailing father.

“ I used to work for a company that deals on solar energy generation in Kaduna . I worked as a marketer, until the company folded up. I lost some of the money I made as a marketer to fraudsters while I was processing my visa to Canada and ever since, I have been jobless.  When I came to Lagos State, I thought of a way to make money, and being the first child in the family of eight, my father was down with stroke and I had to fend for him.   That was why I went into this business. I know it is not right but I did not have any other option,” he said.

On how he sold his trick to his victims, Mr. Tiza hinted Crime Guard that he only swindled people who were greedy and wanted more than they could afford.

“When I go to any organization, I  tell them about the solar power  equipment I have , like lamps, touch and other things. When they show interest, I tell them that if they want more than one, they can make a N5000 down payment which is refundable and when I come the next time, they can complete the payment.   Normally, people who wanted more than one usually pay, not knowing that I will not come back there again.”

Lagos State  Police spokesman,  Frank Mba, while parading the suspect at the Oduduwa police station on Tuesday, said the suspect had swindled reputable media and cooperate organisations before he was arrested on April 13th.

“The suspect was alleged to have been moving from one place to the other, from one reputable media organization, corporate  organizations, schools  informing them that he deals with a solar power generating firm; saying that he will supply them with the  equipment at varied prices. People fell for his tricks and parted with money.  Some reputable organizations that fell  for his antics include,  TV Continental, N25,000, The News magazine N15,000, Tell Magazine N35, 000,  Safeway Hospital N5000 and  Doyin Group of schools, N10,000.

“ My advice to people is that they should exercise due diligence with people who come to sell things to them.  People should conduct background checks  and go the extra mile to ask  probing and provocative questions.   They should not take anything any body tells them on face value.   That way, they will not fall for the antics and tricks of people like this.

We appeal to people who have fallen victim to this man’s antics to go to the Area F police station and  report their cases there. Investigations into the case is still on -going and the suspect will be charged to court for the appropriate offences.”


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