By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has arrested seven persons suspected to operate illegal employment agencies targeted at defrauding job seekers in the nation’s capital.
Dr Babagana Adam, Director of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS), paraded the suspects before newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adams said the syndicate was responsible for illegal recruitment claims for the purpose of defrauding the people under the guise of giving them jobs.
He said that the cartel was tracked down on Monday morning at Zone 6 primary school, opposite FCT Development Control, by a team of DOAS officers and securities.
He said that all the arrested culprits would be handed over to the Police for prosecution.
The DOAS boss accused the suspects of printing job posters with inscriptions such as – job in Supermarket, males and females, educated and non-educated, monthly salary of N40,000, staff bus and accommodation available.
“They ask interested applicants to call certain phone numbers.
“What the cartel does is to paste illegal adverts, stickers on every available space along FCT roads, bridges and infrastructure, calling applicants to apply for the non-existing jobs.
“When the applicants come, they are recruited into their fold and gangs to defraud, steal and sometimes rape innocent residents across the territory.
“I am sure you can see several of such illegal adverts along the streets of the territory,” the DOAS director said.
He said that the agency had continuously warned the general public through Radio jingles, Television and the Newspapers, to ignore such posters because they are not only illegal, but avenues to defraud job seekers.
Adam also stated that some of the advertisement posters carry messages such as, “you are hereby called to apply for ushering jobs in event centres”.
He said that interested persons usually get their forms after paying N15,000 only to be defrauded at the end.
He said that applicants should note that only DOAS was constitutionally empowered by the FCT administration to take care of signage and advertisements.
He, therefore, warned residents against fake advertorials in the territory.
Some victims, however, narrated their ordeals in the hands of the fake employment rackets.
One of them, simply identified as Obumnaeme, said he saw an advert posted on a wall in Nyanya, seeking for sales representative in a supermarket.
“I called the number and they asked me to come, but on getting there, I called the number again and the agent sent someone to me.
“When the lady came, she was not talking about the supermarket job again; she was talking about another business which I am not aware of.
“She said I needed to pay N15,000 and I told her I don’t have the money at hand but will send it to her when I get home.
“She forwarded her account details to me to send the money. We were talking when they arrested us,” he said.
Miss Mary James, another victim, told newsmen that she called the displayed numbers in one of the posters and was asked to come forward but was arrested with the group.
Mr Realistic Amadi, the leader of the group, who also spoke to newsmen, denied all allegations.
‘’I am not aware of these job posters; all I do is to go out there to approach individuals to come and join in the sale of GNLD Pharmaceutical products with certain amount of interest after sales,” he said. (NAN)