For Abdulrazak Sani, a 29-years–old indigene of Taraba State, life has always presented him with the wrong choices when it comes to finding a sustainable means of livelihood. First it was his yarning for more that drove him into bunkery business even as a police Constable. Unfortunately, he was caught and subsequently dismissed from the force.
After his dismissal, Abdulrazak was said to have relocated to Ghana where he started a family and fathered two children. Along the line, he discovered his petty business there could not fend for his family. He then returned to Nigeria and chose to impersonate an Assistant Superintendent of Police; escort trucks and even alleged to be attached to the special convoy of the Deputy Inspector General of Police in Abuja.
According to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Fatai Owoseni who paraded him alongside other suspects in Ikeja, Abdulrazak was said to have also sold police recruitment forms to unsuspecting members of the public despite the official closure of the online application. He was said to have convinced his victims that he could help them speed up their recruitment process favourably.
The suspect was however apprehended when he had escorted some truck s to Capital Oil and Gas in Apapa Lagos successfully but was stopped and interrogated by some policemen there and was found to be an impersonator.
On what led him into such, Abdulrazak said. “It was frustration and bad counsel that led me into this mess. Actually, I used to be a police officer and I was attached to the anti-pipeline vandalism unit of the Nigerian police in Rivers state. In my quest to make some extra cash, I got involved in bunkery business. I and a few other vandalized petroleum pipelines in Rivers, stole petroleum products and sold them as black market products. I was however caught and arrested in 2006. In line with the dos’ and don’ts of the police, I was tried and dismissed same year.
“After my dismissal, I relocated to Ghana, Kumasi to be precise. I went into a small business and later got married and had two children. It got to a point when my business could no longer cater for the growing needs of my family. I was borrowing sometimes to take care of my family. Friends and family advised me to return to Nigeria and look for something else to do. After been reluctant for some years, I had to return to Nigeria early this year.
“Upon returning, I decided to visit Rivers state which was my formal base. I met some old time friends who asked me what I was doing now. I told them I had just returned from Ghana and was yet to start anything. They however advised me to use my experience as a formal police officer to make money. I asked them how and they said there was this business which only needed me to pose as a police officer and then escort truck loaded with petroleum product from Rivers state to Lagos for N60,000 per truck.
“It was quiet tempting, but I turned down the offer because I knew it was wrong. But in May, when I still could not find a job or even get the resources to set up a business, I had to give in to the offer. I went for the first operation which was successful in the first week of May. I escorted six trucks for N60, 000 each.”
Luck however ran out on Abdulrazak when he had successful arrived Lagos on his second operation but was intercepted at Capital Oil and Gas at Apapa where the trucks were to be stationed. “In the third week of May, I escorted another six trucks for the same fee each. The trucks were carrying fuel, diesel and kerosene. I had successfully escorted the truck to their destination at Capital oil and Gas in Apapa before some police stopped me and started asking me a few questions. I told them I was an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) working as a special convoy to the Deputy Inspector General of Police force headquarters in Abuja.
“I even presented my identity card to them but they somehow discovered I was lying and they immediately arrested me.”
As to his involvement in the recently concluded police recruitment exercise, Abdulrazak said he never sold recruitment form to anyone nor did he collect money from any for the purpose of processing the recruitment. “it is all lies about my involvement in the police recruitment exercise I did not sell any form to anyone or even collected money for the said purpose. I do not know here this whole thing is coming from I only impersonated.”
On whether he disclosed his true identity to his business associates, he affirmed that the owners of the truck knew he was a dismissed officer. Claiming he never hide the fact that he is no more in active service.
He also claimed that the Identity card, stamp as well as the letter head paper with which he had gone about impersonating an ASP were all designed in Lagos but refused to mention who and where. Hear him, “I cannot mention the name of the person who made the identity card, stamp and the letter head paper for me, I am already in trouble; why get someone else to share in my pain? I am only calling on the authorities to pardon me; because I know without mistakes, there will be no correction. All I am praying for is to be able to get out of this. If I do, I will definitely stay out any criminal act even if it means begging.”
CP Owoseni also used the opportunity to notify members of the public that the police recruitment which have official ended was strictly an online affair and that applicants will only be selected on merit. He advise all to be watchful so as not to fall a victim or been extorted by criminally minded individuals.