Security officials working with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, have arrested nine suspects in connection with a fake recruitment exercise into the agency.
The arrests were made after months of investigation using electronic and telecommunication trail of the suspects
The suspects are being investigated for alleged forgery of documents, impersonation of officials of the FIRS and other federal ministries, agencies and banks officials. The suspects are also accused of deceit of members of the public and soliciting for money for promotion of FIRS officials.
The suspects allegedly employed a vast network of websites, email addresses, computers, telephone lines and bank accounts and were spread over different parts of the Nigerian capital, Abuja. They promised to facilitate the promotion of some FIRS officials and sent sms to spouses, relatives and persons connected to the staff.
Although officials of the revenue agency would not speak on the matter saying investigations were ongoing, sources said the suspects being questioned were Alex Oki, David Kachia, Yakubu Tanko, Mohammed Shuaibu, Kehinde Jamah, Ogbonna Agwu, Aminu Ibrahim, Pascal Ajah and Chris Onyekachi.
Items received from the suspects include FIRS staff records, complimentary cards, polythene bag containing bank deposit slips and documents from several ministries and federal government agencies.
The suspects’ activities were exposed when a member sent an sms to a senior FIRS staff, seeking for money to facilitate the official’s promotion.
The official reported the matter leading to the investigations and the arrest. The suspects are expected to be charged to court soon.
The FIRS recently conducted an online promotion examination, which ran simultaneously in several locations across the country. Over 2000 staff participated and participants knew their results immediately they finished answering the questions.
The agency has also announced in several newspaper publications and on its website, www.firs.gov.ng, that it is not recruiting into the service for now.
A statement on the agency’s website states that “This is to inform the general public that FIRS is neither recruiting nor replacing unfilled positions within its workforce.
“Anybody submitting his/her CV or applying through any website, responding to sms, texts any online medium, social media platforms or in whatever form, for employment with FIRS, is doing so at his or her own risk.
“Please note that employment into the FIRS, will be advertised in national newspapers as well as on the FIRS website www.firs.gov.ng.
“Members of the public are hereby strongly advised to avoid being deceived or defrauded by unscrupulous and dubious characters, the statement running on the FIRS website for over two months now read.”