The Sokoto Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested two Chinese, Mr. Meng Wei Kun and Mr. Xu Koi, for offering a sum of N50 million as bribe to its Zonal Head, Mr. Abdullahi Lawal.
The N50 million bribe conveyed in a four cartons of table water, was the first installment of the N100 million offered as bribe to the EFCC officer.
A statement Tuesday by the Commission’s Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, said the suspects were arrested on Monday in Sokoto.
The commission said the bribe was offered in a desperate bid to compromise ongoing investigations of a construction company, China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd, handling N50 billion contracts awarded by the Zamfara State Government between 2012 to 2019.
The statement read:
“The zonal office of the Commission is investigating the construction company, in connection with the execution of contracts for the construction of township roads in Gummi, Bukkuyun, Anka and Nassarawa towns of Zamfara state; and also the construction of one hundred and sixty eight (168) solar- powered boreholes in the 14 local government areas of the state.
“Alarmed by the consistency and professionalism of investigation being conducted, the company reached out to Lawal with an offer of N100 million as bribe to “bury” the matter.
“In a grand design to trap the corrupt officials, Lawal played along, and on Monday, two representatives of the company Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuoi offered him cash totalling fifty million naira in their office along airport road, Sokoto. The cash was offered as a first installment.”
The statement said the suspects were promptly arrested with the cash as evidence.
The commission said the investigation of the construction company was informed by an intelligence on alleged conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement, official corruption, abuse of office, stealing and money laundering obtained against the Zamfara State government through inflated and uncompleted contracts awarded to the company.
It added that investigations had so far revealed that China Zounghao Ltd had received payments of over N41 billion from the Zamfara State government, out of which about N16 billion, equivalent to over $53 million, was allegedly diverted and traced to some bureau de change operators
The statement said the suspects would soon be charged to court.