News - Oil & Gas - January 19, 2021

How fake NNPC staff defrauded neighbour, friends of N32m for non-existent jobs

A petty trader, Prince Igbokwue, 46, on Monday told an Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Kubwa how his former neighbour, Uju Okoye, allegedly defrauded him and his friends of N32 million with offers of plum job offers in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that never existed.

Mr Igbokwue made the accusation while testifying at the resumed trial of Ms Okoye in a matter filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against her.

The anti-graft agency arraigned Ms Okoye over a nine-count charged bordering on obtaining under false pretense and fraud.

The witness, while being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Steve Odiase, alleged that the defendant was his neighbour and family friend in Uke Close, Gwarinpa, Abuja.

“In 2012, the defendant told me that there was a job opportunity at the NNPC. My wife, her older sister and my younger brother needed jobs at the time.

“Ms Okoye said money would be required to get the jobs. I informed my friends. Each of us paid between N150,000 to N200,000 each, amounting to N2million.
“After waiting for several months without getting the said jobs, my friends and I demanded for our money back, but she failed to return our money,” he said.

Mr Igbokwue said he discovered the accused scammed him when the EFCC invited him to testify regarding a petition written by another victim of the defendant.

In a cross-examination, the defence counsel, Obinna Ekezie asked the witness if he knew the NNPC was owned by the Federal Government.

The witness, however, said the defendant told him the money he paid her was needed at the office and that he had no reason to doubt her being a family friend.
After listening to the testimony, Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya, adjourned the case until January 19 for further hearing.

The EFCC alleged that the defendant who claimed to be a staff of the NNPC between 2013 and 2015, obtained about N32 million from job seekers through various bank accounts, promising to get them jobs that was never in existence. (NAN)

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