Suspect tried to blackmail contractor for N84 million
Detectives of the Nigeria Police Force are investigating how two officials of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) in Abuja colluded with one Sylvester Onny Igbokwe to forge the account opening documents of a consulting firm, Express Concerns International Limited.
When the forgery deal between Igbokwe and the bank officials blew in their faces, said the complainant, the arrowhead of the forgery syndicate (Igbokwe) attempted to use blackmail to extort N84 million from him.
According to a complaint lodged by Express Concerns Limited CEO, Hon. Daniel Okeke, his firm had in June 2021, entered a partnership with New Line West Africa Limited to secure a training contract with the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Office.
The new partnership, noted the firm, necessitated the opening of a new bank account. It was at this point that Onny Sylvester Igbokwe, aka Ikemba Ihechiowa in Arochukwu LGA of Abia State, and an acquaintance of one of the parties, “begged to be allowed to introduce his relation, a marketing staff of FCMB, who was on the verge of being fired for poor performance.”
Noted the complainant, “Mr Igbokwe offered to bring in officials from FCMB, where he runs a personal account for this purpose. He called two officials of the bank who brought the necessary forms for both Dr. Onwe and Hon. Daniel Okeke to sign and attach their passport photographs and copies of IDs.”
He continued, “On the 24th November, 2021, following a successful presentation, an award letter was issued to Express Concerns International Ltd for the training of 90 “delegates” in rice, poultry and fish farming for 6 months, employment of 50 percent of the trainees for 3 years and mentorship.”
Hon. Okeke however regretted that “Sylvester Igbokwe proceeded, in connivance with the bank officials of FCMB, Port Harcourt Crescent Branch, Abuja, to forge a board resolution of Express Concerns International Ltd, designating Igbokwe as a sole signatory in all instances and Dr Onwe as a co-signatory only,” adding, “they struck out the page that had been signed by the duly authorized officer, Hon. Daniel Okeke.”
He noted that, but for providence, the said Sylvester Igbokwe and his FCMB cohorts would have cornered the mobilization fee raised in the name of Express Concerns Limited.
The contractor stated that the PAP training contract was fully insured by Alliance and General Insurance Plc vide a bond dated 28th April. 2022.
He told detectives that he later got to know that Sylvester Igbokwe was a serial blackmailer whose stock-in-trade was introducing bankers to contractors only to end up falsifying their bank account opening documents.
“It should be noted that Mr. Sylvester Igbokwe is being prosecuted by the EFCC for the fraudulent hijacking of a contract belonging to an Ibadan-based IT firm called Citadel Oracle Concept awarded by the FIRS in 2012,” the complainant declared.