Woman Impersonating Nigeria’s First Lady Arrested By Secret Service At Presidential Villa
Amina Mohammed pretended to be her country's first lady and invited several people to the presidential compound.
Nigeria's secret service has arrested a woman pretending to be the country's first lady.
According to the BBC, Amina Mohammed, now widely known in Nigeria as the "Fake First Lady," pretended to be the first lady of Kogi, a state just south of the country's capital city, to gain access to Aso Rock, the highly guarded presidential compound.
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Once inside Aso Rock, Mohammed reportedly invited people to the compound posing as Aisha Buhari, Nigeria's first lady, while she was out of the country.
One of these people, entrepreneur Alexander Chika Okafor, claims he lost 150 million naira ($414,000) thanks to the scam, Newsweek reports. The businessman accepted Mohammed's invitation and negotiated a real estate deal with her. There was no such deal, and it isn't clear whether authorities have recovered the money.
After being caught, Mohammed reportedly yelled, "It is a lie."
Peter Afunanya, a spokesperson for Nigeria's domestic intelligence agency, the DSS, said the situation is all too real.
"Investigation has shown that this unholy enterprise is not to the knowledge of the first lady," Afunanya said.
Aso Rock is known to have advanced security measures. In addition to police officers and secret service agents, the facility is protected by biometric checkpoints. Afunanya said Mohammed was able to overcome these hurdles thanks to the enormity of her deception.
"[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," the spokesperson said.
Mohammed claimed at a press conference she was able to pull off the ruse because she was helped by Aisha Buhari's sister and a former government official. Neither party has responded to this allegation, and the DSS has yet to prove the Fake First Lady had any inside assistance.
Buhari herself and the actual first lady of Kogi, Amina Oyiza Bello, have not commented on the scam, either. Mohammed is currently awaiting trial.
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