Woman Pretending To Be Nigeria’s First Lady Arrested After Running Business Scams
By Sharelle Burt
Ever heard the phrase “fake it ’til you make it?” Well, don’t try it in Nigeria. Nigerian secret service arrested Amina Mohammed after she posed as first lady to get inside the presidential villa in the capital city of Abuja.
It looks like she wanted to run some business scans in the first lady’s name. An investigation reports that while the real first lady, Aisha Buhari, was out of the country in November 2017, Mohammed boldly invited notably wealthy people to the villa for business scams. Businessman Alexander Chika Okafor claims that Mohammed scammed him out of $414,000 over a property deal in Lagos.
Mohammed and the real first lady must have a striking resemblance for her to fake out secret service agents and other law enforcement.
Peter Afunanya, spokesman for Nigeria’s domestic spy agency, Department of State Security (DSS), said Mohammed used numerous forms of fake identities to gain access to the presidential villa and took advantage of the country’s vulnerability when it comes to checking persons in high power. “Ms. Mohammed took advantage of the fact that personalities such as first ladies, ministers and certain categories of officials are not taken through rigorous protocols and security checks at the villa posts,” Afunanya said. He added this “investigation has shown that this unholy enterprise is not to the knowledge of the first lady.”
Even though the protocol isn’t as tight as over here in the United States, Ishaq Khalid of BBC in Abuja says the security breach comes as a shock since Aso Rock, a nickname for the villa, is extremely guarded by the DSS and police officers. All employees working there must have passes that include biometric data, and all visitors need to be signed in. Since the incident, President Muhammadu Buhari is looking to crack down on the massive corruption in Nigeria.
Back in September, DSS arrested one of the first lady’s own aides for allegedly raising money under false pretenses. Of course, he denies all allegations.