IGP, Mohammed Abubakar
By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a member of staff of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) for allegedly being in possession of fake N900, 000.
Prior to his arrest by police detectives attached to ‘Area N’ Command Headquarters, Ijede in Ikorodu, the suspect who was identified as Osakpolo Igbinosa, was said to have been perpetrating the act since 2010, as a material security officer.
Igbinosa said it was not actually printed by him but the NSPMC, alleging that they were the ones yet to reach the final stage of printing at the NSPMC.
Fielding questions from journalists on his arrest, the suspect said he had gone to a nearby Bureau De Change to change some of the money for American Dollars when the Bureau de Change operator raised the alarm and alerted the police.
He said: “The notes are not fake per se, but the difference is that, they have not reached the final stage of production and so, there are no serial numbers on them. Contrary to what I was accused off, I did not print the money. These notes are genuine ones and were printed by my company but I stole them because I needed to offset some debt.”
Confirming the arrest, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the suspect was arrested on September 19, 2012 at about 4.pm.
She said: “One Abdulraham Abdullahi of Benson Plaza Ikorodu, alerted policemen attached to Shagamu road that Osakpolor Igbinosa of the NSPMC located on Victoria Island with staff number MSC/4503 transacted a business of exchange of N900, 000 for $3,000.”
“During the transaction, the said N900, 000 was discovered to be fake because the notes did not have security and minting numbers. The suspect was promptly arrested by the police and during interrogation, he confessed being a security man attached to the NSPMC and that he stole the said counterfeit money from the office.
“He further stated that he had been stealing the counterfeit money since 2010 and bought a Nissan Pathfinder Jeep with registration number KRD 480AE from the illegal business.”
Braide said the suspect even attempted to bribe the policemen who came to effect his arrest with the sum of N300, 000 but the offer was turned down, stating further that N320, 000 genuine money was recovered from him.
She said the suspect would soon be charged to court under the relevant section of the law.