A driver in the employ of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nasiru Isa, has been arrested for allegedly breaking into one of the sealed mansions owned by the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.).
It will be recalled that the EFCC had, in January, sealed off over five landed properties belonging to Badeh before arraigning him on 10-count charge bordering on money laundering and theft.
The EFCC said in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, that the suspect belonged to a criminal syndicate that specialises in breaking into properties sealed off by the EFCC.
According to the anti-graft agency, a policeman identified as Corporal Aliyu Ismaila is also a member of the syndicate.
Other suspects include: Abubakar Jibrin, Abdulsalam Ado, Ibrahim Babangida, Reuben Dauda, Hassan Aliyu, Sani Yusuf and Murtala Mohammed.
The EFCC said on August 30, 2016, the suspects, including the armed policeman, subdued the security guard at the property and attempted to break into the main building but fled on sighting some EFCC operatives.
The statement read in part, “On August 30, 2016, operatives of the EFCC, as part of monitoring activities on the sealed property, had gone to the site to execute a search.
“However, members of the syndicate took to their heels on sighting the operatives of the anti-graft agency. A carpenter, Yakubu Muhammad, who was hired by the syndicate, was left behind and was subsequently arrested by the operatives.
“The carpenter, who has been cooperating with operatives, confessed that he was not in the know of the illicit activity, as he was only brought in by the syndicate to assist with the use of his carpentry tools to break into the property.”
According to the EFCC, investigations revealed that shortly after the property was sealed, some individuals moved about 12 bags believed to contain items linked to money laundering offence, into the property.
The statement added, “Investigations revealed that one of those in the know about the goods was the brains behind the scheming to steal them. The syndicate decided they would need to subdue the security man at the property, which would mean they would need to involve security personnel in the syndicate.
“Subsequently, Isa was contacted. To further beef up the security aspect of the crime, he also contacted his friend, Ismaila, who came for the ‘operation’ fully armed. In perpetrating the crime, Dauda had posed to be a senior official of the EFCC, while Jibrin posed as an Intelligence Police officer in the Inspector General’s office.
“However, on August 30, 2016, they were caught in the act of breaking into the property, having successfully overpowered the security guard at the entrance of the property.”