Details of how Aisha Buhari’s impersonator defrauded firm chairman of N150m emerge
A firm, Chicason Group of Companies, has revealed how Amina Mohammed, a woman who claimed to be acting on behalf of Aisha Buhari allegedly defrauded its chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Alexander Okafor, of N150m.
The company said Okafor had entered the Presidential Villa on the invitation of the suspect who is also identified as Amina Villa, only to later discover he had been defrauded.
In a statement made available to us by Chicason Group’s Head of Corporate Communications, Isa Gamson, the firm said Mohammed after collecting N150m, meant for a federal government property in the Ikoyi area of Lagos, also demanded N20m for commission.
Gamson said the insistence of Okafor for documentary evidence of the first payment, burst the bubble and led to the arrest of the suspect.
Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had paraded Mohammed for impersonating the president’s wife and gaining unauthorised access to the villa.
The woman initially denied the allegation of fraud, saying she was into sales of property on behalf of the federal government.
She reportedly mentioned names of some villa officials, adding that they were aware of her deals and collected bribes from her.
Gamson, in the statement on Sunday, January 6, said the suspect called the company’s chairman after he indicated interest in a federal government property in Ikoyi.
He said: “Sometime in July 2017, a traditional ruler approached the Chairman/CEO of Chicason Group of Companies, Chief Alexander Chika Okafor, and informed him that the property beside Chief Okafor’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, made up of two plots belonging to the Court of Appeal, was up for sale by the federal government Implementation Committee on Disposal of Federal Government Landed Property.
“The royal father said he would have applied for it but he was short of funds. He asked Chief Okafor to apply for it and gave him forms to fill for the property.
“The chairman of Chicason Group decided to give it a try because of the seemingly trusted source. He got the forms filled for the two plots through two companies under the Chicason Group: Cason Travels Limited and Uslasiya Nigeria Limited.
He added: “Two weeks after, he received a call from a lady, who was identified by Truecaller as Amina Villa. She introduced herself as the sister of the First Lady. The lady said some people brought the application forms by our companies to her sister to assist in the procurement of the property. Amina Villa said her sister asked her to confirm that the identity of the owners of the companies used in the forms was genuine.
“Subsequently, she visited the Abuja office of the Chicason Group for confirmation and promised to fix a meeting with her sister upon her availability.
“On a later date, she called Chief Okafor and said she had arranged a meeting for him at the Villa with the First Lady. By the time he arrived at the Villa in the evening for the meeting, his details were already in the system as an expected visitor. His biometrics was taken and he was cleared. Amina received him and took him to the First Lady’s lounge where someone offered him water. But he wondered why the lounge was quiet and bereft of the expected human activity.”
It was gathered that Amina, however, apologised as he informed him the First Lady had to travel for the Lesser Hajj that morning.
The company spokesperson said Okafor left the villa immediately. He said Mohammed, on two other occasions, said the president’s wife had travelled out of the country.
She allegedly told the company boss to pay N150m for each of the plots.
“She advised that since Chief Okafor was always travelling, he should give her the money so that she could pay promptly from the account she controlled and be in charge of the transaction to make it seamless.
“Chief Okafor said he would pay for one plot first and would pay for the second after the first had been approved and documents released to him. He asked for the account details and went on to make the payment of N150m.”
He noted that a few months after the payment, the traditional ruler who informed Okafor about the property, confirmed to him that the documents were ready.
Mohammed was said to have also confirmed that there was an approval for the allocation of the plot to the company and that she had the documents.
She was said to have demanded a commission of N20m.
However, Okafor reportedly insisted on getting documentary evidence of the approval.
“It was from that point that the hide-and-seek started, with excuses made each day. After months of hide-and-seek from Amina, our chairman decided to contact officials at the Presidential Villa to report the matter.
“He was asked to write a formal petition. The petition led to the scrutiny of all the ladies working for the First Lady to identify her, but none was Amina. The matter was referred to the DSS, which tracked and invited her.
“She initially denied having any property transaction with Chicason Group, but later confessed and acknowledged collecting the money for the property when evidence was presented to her.”
“The matter is being handled by the DSS and we are waiting for the result from their investigation. That was why we kept quiet all this while,” the spokesman added, noting that the press statement was necessitated by the need to keep the record straight.
Meanwhile, we previously reported that Aisha Buhari had dissociated herself from the N150 million scandal.
Mrs Buhari also warned her staff not to engage in any fraudulent activities, adding that “anyone found guilty will face the full wrath of the law.’’
The warning was made in a statement by her director of information, Suleiman Haruna, on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, in Abuja.