By Ifeanyi Okolie
A masters degree holder, Aminu Ahmed Yerima, has been arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, for defrauding over 50 persons on Facebook, pretending to be an aide to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who is presently the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.
Vanguard gathered that, Yerima, who is also a native of Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa State, where the former Vice President, hails from, had fleeced his unsuspecting victims of large sums of money, running into millions of naira. He was said to have ran into trouble when two of his female victims wrote a petition against him to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, detailing how he defrauded them of the sum of N5million within the space of six months.
Police sources disclosed that after the IGP approved the petitions, he directed his men at IRT, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to investigate and bring the perpetrator to book. Yerima, was said to have been traced through information he provided on his Facebook and Kano State, where he was arrested.
The police sources explained that Yerima, created a Facebook account using pictures of himself and the former Vice President, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and several other locations. He also identified himself on his facebook wall as the personal aide to the former vice president.
According to a source; “Yerima, made his victims to believe that the former Vice President usually gave out financial assistance and contracts to people who were in need and he assured them that he could always help to facilitate it. A lot of people fell for his tricks because he made them to believe that the Vice President would assist them the moment they sought for help.”
“Since he is from the same Local Government Area with the former vice president and he has met him on several occasions where he took photographs with him, including one of the Vice President’s pilgrimages to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, his victims fell for him. After swindling them, he would block and stop communicating with them. After we arrested him, we found over 50 persons he has defrauded and blocked on facebook but the women who wrote separate petitions against him, were Raliat and Awa Maje. He told them that Atiku would give them N15million while he fleeced them of N5million each”, the source explained.
When Vanguard interviewed the 29-year-old suspect, he said he went into fraud because he had once been a victim of fraud. “I obtained my Masters Degree from the University of Ghana, Accra, in 2014, but I got my bachelors degree from Federal University, Yola, Adamawa State in 2010. I went into fraud in 2016 after I could not secure a good job and I was equally duped by someone on facebook who wanted to link me up to a ‘sugar mummy’ who would be paying me for sex. The fraudster took N30,000 from me and blocked me from communicating with him on facebook. Then I thought I could do the same thing and make some money for myself since I had no job. I used the same ‘Sugar Mummy’ format but it didn’t work. People weren’t falling for me, then I created a new facebook account using Manga Mubi as my profile name, and uploaded several pictures of myself and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is from my Local Government. Atiku is very accessible and down-to-earth.”
“Whenever he was in town, he allowed people to come around his house and take photographs with him. I have snapped several pictures with him over the years including one during my Hajj Pilgrimage. I also identified myself as his personal aide and people started contacting me. A lot of them wanted to meet him, others wanted contracts and financial assistance.
I normally assured them that that I could always facilitate a meeting between him and them, but it would come with a fee. I usually asked them to pay any amount from N500,000 upward and a lot of people paid several amounts of money to me and when they insisted on seeing him, I would tell them he was out of the country but when they started becoming troublesome I would block them from communicating with me. I can’t remember the names of the people I defrauded”.
“I also learned how to defraud people using fake bank alert and I used it in buying goods in Kano State before I arrested. One of the women who wrote the petition to the police that got me arrested, Raliat, added me on facebook and she started communicating with me having believed I was an aide to Atiku. She told me that she needed N15million for her business and I assured her that Atiku was going to give it to her, but she would have to give me some money that I would use in processing the money for her. I made her believe that Atiku was always traveling round the world and reaching him wasn’t easy, so she was always providing money for my movement to see him.
I got a total of N2.5million from her and I sent a picture of a bank deposit teller of N15million, which Atiku had approved to be paid to her account and when she waited endlessly for the money, she became too troublesome and I blocked all facebook communications with her. I didn’t know that she reported me to the police. I was in Kano when the police came and arrested me”.