N1.7bn fraud: FG asks court to remand head of federal cooperative society in prison

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The Federal Government has filed a motion before a senior magistrate court in Abuja seeking to remand the National Coordinator, Federal Civil Service Staff with Disabilities Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Iliasu Abdul-Rauf, in custody over his alleged kidnap and N1.7 billion fraud.

In a statement signed by the spokesperson of ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Wednesday, the anti-graft agency also accused Mr Abdul-Rauf of abducting 14 females between the ages of 11 and 33 years at his residence during a search by operatives of the commission.

Mr Abdul-Rauf who is currently on the wanted list published on the website of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), demanding for information concerning the whereabouts of the fugitive.

He was accused of allegedly collecting N1.7 billion under the guise of awarding contracts for the establishment of rehabilitation centres in the states of the Federation.

According to the statement, the ICPC said Mr Abdul-Rauf is currently under arrest by the commission for alleged involvement in multiple corrupt acts, including bribery, breach of trust, criminal misappropriation and other frauds running into hundreds of millions of naira.

”After his arrest, a search of his house by operatives of the Commission revealed 14 females between the ages of 11 and 33 years, locked up in one of the rooms and were evacuated, after which they were handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further investigation. The ICPC said.

According to the statement, he is alleged to have used his position as the National Coordinator of Persons with Disabilities Cooperative DSociety to scam contractors into donating cash and items such as wheelchairs, crutches, etc. as “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) for non-existent contracts.

”Some of the contractors are said to have paid as much as N50 million as the “CSR”, while others delivered large numbers of items to him.

The ICPC said, in the motion filed before the court, that Mr Abdul-Rauf allegedly failed to rehabilitate ‘disability centres” across the country after collecting N1.7 billion from various contractors under the guise of awarding contracts for the project.

According to the commission, Mr Abdul, who is notorious of running from other security agencies in Nigeria, having absconded after an earlier charge had been filed against him by the Commission, said the remand would prevent his escape a second time pending the completion of the investigation.

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”The Commission hereby uses this opportunity to urge contractors and businessmen to always verify the genuineness and authenticity of contracts offered or proposed to them with relevant government agencies in order not to fall victim of fraudsters,” Mrs Okoduwa said.

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