By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at its recent operations before the Christmas break, arrested an artist , one Aliyu Haliru Alinco, who specialises in signatures, stamps and seals for alleged conspiracy, impersonation and forgery.
Alinco, a specialist of all kinds of artworks was nabbed by officials of EFCC at his No. 111, Atiku road shop in Sokoto on December 11, 2019.
Briefing newsmen on the break through in Sokoto, the Anti graft agency’s Zonal Head of Operations, Mr Abdullahi Lawal said no fewer than 165 specimen signatures and stamps including the one under investigation were found on tracing and sheet of papers in his possession upon his arrest.
Hitherto, 119 rubber stamps and seals of various institutions , organisations, government agencies, Ministries, Parastatals, Departments, public and private companies, schools, higher institutions, NGOs, certificates and receipts among numerous others suspected to have been forged were recovered.
Lawal said ” in 2009 and 2010, the suspect forged signatures of a former Permanent Secretary in he state, Nature Shinkafi and former Accountant General, Aminu Abdullahi, all of the state Ministry of Finance on two documents addressed to the Managing Director, Atlas Portfolios Ltd. , a Broker of 6th Floor, 46, Reinsurance House, Marina, Lagos as Mandate document s authorising the company to sell 10,928,569 units of UBA Plc shares belonging to the Sokoto state Government with net worth of N157,517,767.54 million.
Lawal continued:” after the sales of the shares, over N100 million was diverted and shared among 4 persons and a company currently being investigated.”
According to Lawal, the suspects had since started refunding the the diverted sums to the Commission.
However, the suspect, Alinco, who disclosed to the agency that he charged between N1000 to N5000 to forge a signature or stamp, have agreed to cooperate with and assist the commission in its investigation accordingly.
While dishing out warning to unsuspecting public to be wary of dealing with correspondences linked to 37 listed organisations, institutions, companies, MDAs among others by verifying the authenticity or otherwise of the source of such documents from its originator to avoid been defrauded or otherwise, Lawal reiterated the need for Nigerians to join hands in supporting government to fight corruption in the country.
” We want to state that all investigations are ongoing and suspects will be charged to court