Gyasehene of Akuapem Mamfe, Nana Dr. Atikoasere Oteng-Boadu III ,has described as heroic the arrest of two Chinese nationals in Nigeria Over their attempted bribery of anti corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The arrest was when the two Chinese offered N100 million to Mr Abdulai Lawal, who is the local head of the EFCC in Sokoto state.
The Chinese were under investigations for various illegalities and financial malpractices against the State.
The Gyasehene, who was commenting on the news of the arrest of these two Chinese whose names were given according to a statement from the EFCC as Meng Kun and Xu Koi, said the effort by the Nigerian anti-corruption agency is heroic and patriotic .
According to the celebrated traditional leader, this is an example that is worth emulating by other African anti-corruption agencies in their fight against bribery and corruption.
The leaders of Africa, he stressed must sit up and demand respect for anti-corruption laws to work by enforcing these legislations without fear or favor of nationality or status as investors.
He said, Africa must pay particular attention to the interest shown by the Chinese communist party in Africa as an emerging market and take bold and decisive policy steps to safe guard Africa’s interest in a very form of business Chinese investors bring to the continent.
It all started when on April 28, 2020, when the Nigeria police in Zamfara, arrested some Chinese nationals for engaging in illegal activities. They were later transferred to Abuja for prosecution.
The EFCC in a statement to catalogue events, said the arrest and investigation is as a result of intelligence gathered on alleged conspiracy, embezzlement and money laundering against the Zamfara State by some of these Chinese .
The two Chinese, according to the statement owned a company operating in Nigeria, called China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd and was under investigations, following two contracts awarded by the Zamfara state government to the company to construct township roads in Gummi, Bukkuyun, Anka and Nassarawa in Zamfara State and the construction of 168 solar powered boreholes in the 14 local government areas of the state.
The construction company had reportedly received payments of over N 41 billion “but diverted about N 16 billion which the commission has traced to some bureau de change operators”.
Obviously, with poor, weak and corrupt systems, these investors often are able to find local collaborators, who create a safe haven for such wickedness to go on, but certainly not on this occasion, the statement noted.
Worried by the professional conduct and consistency of the investigations, China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd, reached out to Abdullahi Lawal and offered him N100 Million bribe to “bury the matter”, the EFCC statement said.
The first installment of a total of N 100 million was paid by the two arrested representatives of the company in cash contained in 4 table water boxes.
“In a grand design to trap the corrupt officials, Lawal played along and on Monday, two representatives of the company, Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuoi, offered him cash totaling N50 million in their office along Airport Road”.
The suspects were arrested with the cash as evidence. This adds to the tall list of illegalities and corruption involving Chinese Nationals in Africa.
It also brings to light the extent to which some Chinese investors who have been given fat and juicy contracts in many African countries are willing to go to make money in Africa but escape accountability and justice when they do shoddy work or in some instances don’t deliver at all.
Luck, however, eluded these Chinese when they attempted to compromise the head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Sokoto State, Abdullahi Lawal.
The commission said the bribe was offered its Sokoto zonal head to compromise investigations into the operations of China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd, a company the two arrested persons represent.
Ghana, Nigeria, Congo and many other mineral rich African countries continue to battle the influx of Chinese nationals which has led to several illegal mining activities obviously perpetuated with high success with the connivance of indigenes.
The News media in Africa is awash with similar illegalities perpetuated by Chinese nationals in different African countries.
Many are those who have praised officials in Sokoto state for standing up to such high temptation and enforcing the law.