EFCC Arrests Kogi Assembly Candidate, Others Over N1.4bn Bank Fraud

Ismaila Atumeyi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested a Kogi House of Assembly candidate with wads of cash suspected to be proceeds of a bank fraud operation.

According to a statement Tuesday, by the Commission’s spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the Kogi State lawmaker, Ismaila Yusuf Atumeyi was arrested on Sunday, 30 October, with N326million and $140,500 cash.

TheFact Daily gathers that Atumeyi, who is seeking to represent Ankpa II Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly under the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, was arrested alongside one Joshua Dominic, an alleged serial fraudster, in a sting operation at Macedonia Street, Queens Estate, Karsana, Gwarinpa, Abuja.

Also arrested in connection with the fraud was one Abdumalik Salau Femi, a former bank employee, who allegedly supplied the inside information that facilitated the attack on the bank by the syndicate. Femi was picked up on Tuesday at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lagos.

Atumeyi (l) and Joshua Dominic

Following his arrest, a search was conducted on his home in Morgan Estate, Ojodu where a total of $470,000 was recovered.

The statement said the arrest of the suspects followed months of investigation into the hacking of one of the commercial banks by a syndicate of fraudsters who pulled off a heist of N1.4billion.

The syndicate allegedly moved N887million into the account of Fav Oil and Gas limited, from where the monies were paid to several Bureau de Change operators and some auto dealers for exchange into United States dollars and purchase of high-end cars.

Dominic, who had severally been arrested for fraud, allegedly helped Atumeyi perfect the hacking plan through Abdumalik. Dominic, a self-styled investment expert and managing director of Brisk Capital Limited was arrested in May 2021 by the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police for alleged N2billion investment scam. He allegedly defrauded over 500 persons in a phony investment scheme.

Abdulmalik Femi

Two Range Rover Luxury SUVs were also recovered from the two suspects arrested in Abuja.

“They will be charged to court as soon as the investigation is concluded”, the EFCC said.

“Meanwhile, the Commission expresses concern about the rising spate of cyber-attacks on banks and the reluctance of the institutions to report such breaches to law enforcement,” the statement said.

While warning that such reticence would only embolden the criminals, the EFCC appealed to financial institutions to collaborate with it to secure the financial sector from threats of cyber-attacks.

“It will also be recalled that the EFCC had in the wake of the recent announcement by the Central Bank Nigeria, CBN of plans to redesign and re-issue higher denominations of the Naira, warned Bureau de Change operators to be wary of currency hoarders who would attempt to seize the opportunity to offload the currencies they had illegally stashed away”, the statement concluded.

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