IBRAHIM PANTIBy Uthman Siraja.

Niger State Civil Service Verification Committee has uncovered a syndicate that specializes on issuing of forged appointment letters to unsuspecting applicants.

 The discovery was made by the committee at the ongoing screening exercise in Minna to ascertain the genuine workers on the payroll of Niger State Government.

The screening exercise which commenced over a years ago, was said to have discovered monumental fraudulent activity been perpetrated by some top civil servants in the state.

Already, the committee had fished out  a staff of the  Niger State Ministry of health and and hospital services, Mohammed Ndanusa who  issued out a forged appointment letter to his younger brother since 2009 and now on  grade level 13 and had so far received over N5 million from the payroll of the state government.

The screening committee had already handed over the culprit to the men of the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB), of the Niger State Police Command for discrete investigation.

 Newsline reliably gathered that some times in the Month of April, 2009, Mohammed Ndanusa forged appointment letter of grade level 04 staff of the Ministry of health bearing the name of one Abubakar Aliyu who is now on the run.

It was further gathered that the same suspect forged credentials and conspired with his younger brother, Tanimu Ndanusa, to appear for the screening exercise to claim the forged appointment letter.

On his appearance for the screening exercise, the said Tanimu who is a commercial motorcyclist, (Okada rider), was confronted with some questions, he could neither communicate in English neither could he write.

At this point, it was discovered that his elder brother Mohammed Ndanusa, forged both the appointment letter and the credentials without the knowledge of the younger brother.

On further interrogation by the screening committee, he opened up and admitted that he belongs to a syndicate that is into the falsification of vital documents within some ministries and parastatals in Niger State.

The chairman of the screening committee who is also the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Engr. Mohammed Ibrahim Panti without further delay invited the police to effect his arrest.

 The suspect is currently assisting the operatives of the under cover police of the Niger State Police Command  to uncover and also identify other members of  the syndicate that are into the fraudulent practice of defrauding the state of  its funds  and subjecting the innocent workers in the state civil service to untold penuries.

 The  chairman of the screening committee had sometimes in June raised an alarm that his committee had discovered a total  of 11,000 ghost workers on the payroll of the Niger State and a huge amount of N79 million naira was recovered.

The ongoing screening exercise is the fourth since the inception of the Abubakar Sani Bello led administration within the last five years. 

 The Niger State House of Assembly had during its plenary on Tuesday, requested for the reports of the previous screening exercises been conducted by the administration within the last five years of this administration.

The police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Abiodun Wasiu ASP, could not be reached for comment as he was said to be on another official assignment at the Police Officers’ Mess in Minna.

However, a senior police officer, who craved anonymity, told our reporter that “Yes the suspect is with us here. We have already obtained court order to enable us to investigate him and his other gang that are into the same fraudulent activity. In fact, we have already written to the ministry of health to furnish us with some documents that will help us in our investigations. His gang members are on the run while his younger brother was said to have been on admission at the hospital. After our investigations we will then charge him to court for Prosecution.”  a senior police officer in the state Criminal Investigations Department ( SCID)  told Newsline in confidence.