Arrested First Lady Impersonator Names Aisha Buhari’s Sister, Babachir Lawal As Allies, Amina Mohammed
It was drama at the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Monday when a suspected fraudster, Amina Mohammed who was being paraded, named top associates of President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha, as part of her scam.
During a press event to parade Amina Mohammed Monday afternoon, the DSS accused the woman, dark in complexion and about middle-age, of gaining unauthorised entries into the Presidential Villa over a period of time, during which she impersonated top government officials, including once identifying herself as the first lady of Kogi State.
Mohammed, whose origin was not immediately learnt, had multiple accesses to the residence of First Lady Aisha Buhari, the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, said at the event.
Using her seemingly unrestrained access to the State House and several cover names, including Justina Oluoha and Amina, Mohammed was then able to walk her way into the hearts of persons in the corridors of power, including Alexander ‘Chicason’ Okafor, whom she allegedly duped of up to N150 million in November, 2017.
This happened in a deal which Mohammed and Okafor had on a government property that was placed on sale by the Presidential Implementation Committee on Lease of Federal Government Properties.
Mohammed’s “unholy enterprise is not to the knowledge” of Mrs. Buhari, the DSS concluded following its investigation.
>She allegedly obtained N150 million from Okafor, the billionaire chairman of Chicason Group, a major logistics and oil and gas firm with dual-headquarters in Lagos and Abuja.
Although Mohammed did not immediately deny the DSS’ claims, she pleaded with Nigerians to ensure she did not suffer the consequences alone.
>Mohammed specifically mentioned that she worked closely with Moriyatu, a sister of Mrs. Buhari, and Babachir Lawal, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation who was fired for alleged diversion of funds meant for internally-displaced victims.
Mohammed said Okafor had been buying government properties for a long time, and that he knew he had to bribe officials in order to be shortlisted as a potential buyer of an advertised property.
Lawal had been invited for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the anti-graft office recently said criminal charges were ready to be filed in the matter.
A spokesperson for Mrs. Buhari confirmed on Monday that Moriyatu was a sister to the first lady, but denied knowledge of her likely involvement in such matters.
“She is part of the family,” Suleiman Haruna said of Moriyatu. “But I do not have any details about whether she was involved in such a thing or not.”
The DSS said Mrs. Buhari was not in the country at the time Mohammed was using her name to swindle persons in the corridors of power.
After initially frustrating attempts to be interviewed by a battery of reporters, Mohammed ultimately opened up, saying she had been in DSS’ detention since first turning herself in four months ago.
“DSS has been keeping me in this office for four months,” she screamed to reporters in order to get some words across while being dragged back into the service’s secluded interrogation cubicle.
>Afunanya, however, denied that she had been in detention for four months, saying she only turned herself in about the first week in November.
He added that she had been granted administrative bail and allowed to go report at the secret police on schedules.
>“Her cantankerous behaviour before the press further speaks to the dubious personality,” the DSS spokesperson said.
Asked repeatedly whether Mohammed mentioned Lawal and Mrs. Buhari as her co-conspirators during interrogation and what was done to determine the veracity of her claim, Afunanya said the matter was under investigation.