Friday, 3 August 2012

Job scam hits Civil Defence

Employment scam is currently rocking the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), with thousands of jobless Nigerians falling victims. Checks revealed that in the past six months, some NSCDC officials and others who claim to be employment agents have fleeced jobless Nigerians of millions of naira.

Saturday Sun gathered that in most of the places, the agents peg the price tag of each job slot at N250, 000, with the exception of Owerri, Imo State, where a woman, who has been parading as employment agent for the Corps, recently raised the price to N350, 000. However, as the job announcements are said to be fake, the in-house racket was bust some weeks ago when the CEO of the NSCDC, Commandant General Ade Abolurin, got wind of it and “spent nights for about two weeks in the office tearing the files and cleaning up the system,” an officer at the Zone 5, Wuse office revealed.

The insider source said that Abolurin, who laboured tirelessly to build the Corps, never knew that some officers close to him had been busy extorting money from people and promising them job. “On the day he knew of it, he called these men and confronted them, and the CEO, a man known as pious and straight forward, who sees the racket as attempt to rubbish his efforts to bequeath the agency to the nation, was livid and got into action.

He spent about two weeks all night in the office tearing the files, and there were over 2, 000 of such files (job applications) already piled up. “They capitalised on a programme he (Abolurin) has in mind to do all these. Sometime early this year, the CEO called his deputies and informed them of plans to conduct mass recruitment nationwide.

But he asked them to endorse his plans to extend some slots of jobs in what they called ‘replacement’ to prominent Nigerians and members of the board by way of making them agree to the mass recruitment plan. So, when these middle cadre or even junior officers close to him heard of the plan, they launched into sinister action and started dropping names to collect money from unsuspecting jobless Nigerians.”

On the day Abolurin truncated their plans, he made out time to call the top Nigerians the agents had prepared the files (job offers) in their names to verify if the names in the files were known to them or from them. “Ironically, these names proved false.”

Three officials of the organisation have been suspended from service for involvement in the job bazaar, as the battle to clean up the employment list already compiled goes on. One of them said to have collected as much as N10million from people with very slim margin of refund is now in a serious problem.

In the same vein, on Monday, Saturday Sun got a call from a man who identified himself as Dan Nnabugwu who said he completed his youth service in June in Plateau State. His inquiry was to be sure that the NSCDC was recruiting. He disclosed that in Owerri, a woman, who poses as an officer of the Corps since late last year, has been busy collecting N250, 000 from jobless persons to secure them employment in the Corps. She recently upped it to N350,000, it was learnt.

The caller said when the woman assembled about 50 job seekers last weekend, she informed them that the price for the jobs had gone up by N100, 000, and within that day and the day of the call, over 10 persons had paid up. “Sir, I am calling to be sure before I pay. I am ready to sell some of my belongings if only the job is real, but I should be sure it is not 419,” he said.

At the head office, a senior officer who was also a victim but could not allow his name used in the story, hinted that he even accepted to pay N750, 000 to get three slots for his relations.  “I have already paid for one, and had been pleading with the man in charge to grant me deferred payment for the other two, but he refused. If he had accepted, I would have been a worse victim. In fact, the N150,000 advance payment I had made for one might be tough to recover,” he revealed.

Saturday Sun’s discussion with the Public Relations Officer of the Corps, Oke Emmanuel, was an entirely different story. He admitted that the Corps was aware that people are going about defrauding job seekers with the story that they would secure them employment in the Corps. He said that when the information reached them, the office went into investigation and found two websites with which the syndicates operate.

“We also applied and decided to play along as people seeking their assistance for a job. It was at the point of paying them, at an agreed place, that they were arrested, even with a woman who was there to pay for the same job.

We paraded two sets of such suspects in the past two months and have always alerted the public that the NSCDC is not recruiting and if we would do that it must be announced, and we won’t ask anybody to buy scratch card to apply. Those persons we arrested were handed over to the police for prosecution.”

Oke however, denied any of the officers of the Corps is involved in the scandal and also said no officer was suspended for such involvement. “We have been telling people not to fall for anyone who asks them to bring money to get job in Civil Defence. We are not recruiting and because we are not recruiting, we did not commission anybody to collect money in our behalf.”

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