SOKOTO office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested two Chinese for offering N100 million bribe to the state commission’s zonal head, Abdullahi Lawal revealed on the EFCC’s official Twitter handle.
The officials of the company named Xu Koi and Meng Wei Kun offered the bribe in a desperate bid to compromise ongoing investigations of the construction company called China Zhonghao Nigeria Limited.
According to EFCC, the Chinese company was handling contracts awarded by the Zamfara State Government in the sum of N50 billion between 2012 to 2019.
The Sokoto 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, Bukkuyan, 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 area of the state.
The commission revealed that the Chinese company reached out to the Sokoto Zonal head with N100 million as a bribe to bury the matter of inconsistency and unprofessionalism in the way and manner the project was carried out.
In a grand design to trap the corrupt officials, Lawal played along and lured them to believe he would accept the bribe.
Two representatives of the Chinese company offered him cash totalling N50 million in their office along airport road, Sokoto, the cash was said to be offered as the first installment.
According to EFCC, the suspects were promptly arrested with the cash as evidence.
The Chinese were charged on alleged conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds embezzlement, official corruption, abuse of office stealing and money laundering against the Zamfara State through inflated and uncompleted contracts awarded to the company.
Investigations have so far revealed that China Zounghao Limited has received payment of over N41 billion from the Zamfara State government.
Out of the N41 billion, N16 billion which was equivalent to over $53 million was allegedly diverted and traced to some bureau de change operators.
The suspects would soon be charged to court, the EFCC revealed.
Recall that The ICIR had earlier reported that the African Development Bank Group (AFDB) has debarred China Zhonghao Nigeria Limited, a civil engineering company registered in Nigeria, for fraudulent practices.
AFDB announced on its official website that the Chinese company which has been registered in Nigeria for 18 months has been charged for fraudulent practices which may affect the company fortunes with other multilateral development banks.