Saturday, 10 November 2018

Fake Atiku Aide Arrested For Duping Two Women Of N5m On Facebook

Twenty-nine-year-old Aminu Ahmed Yerima is a Master’s degree holder studied and graduated from the University of Ghana, Accra. With his degree, he could have sought employment in any establishment, either in Ghana or Nigeria, but he seems to prefer the odious job of becoming one of the young Nigerians, who prowl the internet, seeking those to con.

After making up his mind to become a fraudster, he took to the crime like duck to water. Police alleged that he had defrauded over 50 people on Facebook, pretending to be an aide to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who is the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Speaking after his arrest by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, (IRT), led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, Yerima said that he started swindling people after he himself was conned. He said: “I went into fraud in 2016 after I couldn’t secure a good job and I had been swindled by someone on Facebook. The guy that swindled me promised to link me up with a sugar mummy that would be paying me for sex.

The fraudster took N30, 000 from me and later blocked me on Facebook. I then thought I could play the same game and make money for myself since I had no job.” Yerima, a native of Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa State had allegedly fleeced his unsuspecting victims of large sums of money running into millions.

Trouble started for Yerima after two of his female victims wrote a petition against him to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, explaining how they were defrauded of the sum of N5million within six months. The IRT operatives were able to trace and locate Yerima, through information he unwittingly provided on his Facebook. He was located in Kano State.

The police said: “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 a Personal Aide (PA) to Atiku. Yerima made his victims believe that Atiku usually gives financial assistance and contracts to people. He also assured them that he could help them facilitate these financial assistance and contracts. Many people fell for his scam because he is from the same local government area with Atiku. He had met Atiku on several occasions and seized the opportunities to snap pictures with him.

These pictures included those of Atiku on pilgrimages to Mecca and Saudi Arabia. After swindling them, he would block them on Facebook just to stop communication with them. After we arrested him, we found out that he had defrauded over 50 persons.” The police explained that the women, who wrote petition against Yerima, were Raliat and Awa Maje. Yerima told them that Atiku would give them N15million.

He later fleeced each of them N5million. Yerima added: “I obtained my Master’s degree from the University of Ghana, Accra, in 2014, but I got my bachelor’s degree from Federal University Yola, Adamawa State, in 2010. I first tried to use the same sugar mummy format, which someone used to swindle me to start off, but it didn’t work for me.

I created a new Facebook account using ‘Manga Mubi’ as my profile name. I uploaded several pictures of myself and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is from the same local government area. Atiku is very accessible and down-toearth.” The suspect added: “Whenever Atiku was in town, he allows people to come around his house and snap pictures with him.

I have snapped several pictures with him over the years including one taken during my Hajj Pilgrimage. I also identified myself as his PA and people started contacting me. A lot of them wanted to meet him; others wanted contracts and financial assistance. I normally used to assure them that I could facilitate a meeting between Atiku and them, but it that it would attract a fee. I usually asked them to pay from N500, 000 upward. A lot of people paid various amounts to me and when they would insist on seeing him, I’d tell them that he was out of the country. If they become troublesome, I block them from communicating with me. Right now, I can’t remember the names of the people I defrauded. “I also learned how to defraud people using fake bank alerts.

I used it in buying goods in Kano State before I was arrested. One of the women, who wrote the petition to the police that got me arrested, Raliat, added me on Facebook and started conversing with me, believing I was truly Atiku’s PA. She told me that she needed N15million for her business. I assured her that Atiku would give it to her, but that she would have to give me some money, with which to process the N15m for her.

I made her to believe that Atiku was always traveling round the world, and that reaching him wasn’t easy. This way, she was always providing money for my movement to see Atiku. I collected a total N2.5million from her. I sent a picture of a bank deposit teller of N15million, which I told her that ‘Atiku has approved’ to be paid into her account. When she waited endlessly for the money, she became troublesome, so I had to block her on Facebook and ceased communication with her. I didn’t know that she reported me to the police. I was in Kano State when IRT men came to arrest me.”

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