The Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigates financial crimes such as advance fee fraud (EFCC) has arrested two Chinese for offering the sum of N100m as a bribe to the Zonal Head of the anti-graft agency in Sokoto State, Mr Abdullahi Lawal. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosed this in a series of tweets on Tuesday, noting that the arrest was made on Monday in Sokoto.
According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the N100m bribe was allegedly offered in a desperate bid to compromise ongoing investigations of a construction company, China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd, which was handling contracts awarded by the Zamfara State Government in the sum of N50,000,000,000.00 (fifty billion nairas) between 2012 to 2019.
“The zonal office of the EFCC is investigating the construction company, in connection with the execution of contracts for the construction of township roads in Gummi, Bukkuyun, Anka and Nassarawa towns of Zamfara state; and also the construction of one hundred and sixty-eight (168) solar-powered boreholes in the 14 local government areas of the state.
“Alarmed by the consistency and professionalism of investigation being conducted, the company reached out to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Zonal head of the anti-graft agency in Sokoto State, Lawal with an offer of N100,000,000(One Hundred Million Naira) as a bribe to “bury” the matter,” the statement read
It, however, noted that in a grand design to trap the corrupt officials by EFCC, Lawal played along
“On Monday, two representatives of the company Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuoi offered him cash totalling fifty million nairas in their office along airport road, Sokoto. The cash was offered as a first instalment”.
But the suspects were promptly arrested with the cash as evidence. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) further explained that the investigation of the construction company was informed by intelligence on alleged conspiracy; misappropriation of public funds; embezzlement; official corruption; abuse of office, stealing and money laundering obtained against the Zamfara State government through inflated and uncompleted contracts awarded to the company.
So far, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), investigations have revealed that China Zounghao Ltd has received payments of over N41,000,000,000.00 (forty-one billion nairas) from the Zamfara state government out of which about N16,000,000,000.00 (sixteen billion nairas) equivalent to over $53,000,000.00 (fifty-three million US Dollars) was allegedly diverted and traced to some bureau de change operators. It says the suspects would be charged to court soon. Source