By Molly Kilete, Abuja
A 29-year-old woman, who pretended to be a medical doctor and duped innocent traders of their goods and money has landed in the custody of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in Abuja.
The suspect, Rakiya, goes by the name, Dr Amina Yusuf Ahmed, claiming to work at the National Hospital, Abuja. She also specialised in making payments with fake bank alerts to shop owners, especially those selling mobile phones and other electronic gadgets.
She confessed she operated as a fake doctor by travelling from state to state and one hotel to the other, duping people. She would obtain goods under false pretences and make payments with fake bank alerts.
She so perfected the act that she easily developed personal relationship and got the trust of her victims easily as a medical doctor. She was caught with over 15 IPhones and Samsung smartphones at the time of her arrest.
An indigene of Okene in Kogi State, Rakiya started her criminal act some years ago in Kwara State where she began to collect gold, clothing and other expensive materials from traders on credit with a promise to pay back after selling but ended up disappearing with their monies and goods.
After duping so many traders, she was arrested, taken to court and sentenced to prison. Upon her release from Kwara Correctional Centre, Rakiya relocated to Jos, Plateau State, where she continued in her criminal act.
While in Jos, the fake doctor went into cow business, collecting monies from unsuspecting traders with a promise to pay back after selling the cow, which she usually took to the abattoir, slaughtered and sold the beef to butchers.
When they discovered her dubious character, the traders mobilised, got her arrested. She said when she could no longer bear the shame, as the cow dealers warned traders not to have anything to do with her, she relocated to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In Abuja, Rakiya sewed a doctor’s outfit with the name, Dr Amina Yusuf Ahmed, boldly in scripted on the top and went into her usual business. She went from one shop to the other especially the ones selling smartphones. She would buy as many as six or 10 phones.
After picking her choices, she would then ask the shop owner for his bank account details. She would make a transfer and generate a fake bank alert, received only by her. She would then show the trader and immediately leaves the shop with the items.
This, she did for a long time. In order not to be detected by her victims and security agents, she went the extra mile to cover her tracks. She hardly operated on any of the social media platforms.
She lodged in different hotels at different locations in Abuja. However, when her atrocities became unbearable for these traders, they reported the matter to the police who got her arrested.
During investigation by IRT operatives, it was discovered that the suspect, who gained admission to study Medicine at the Bayero University Kano (BUK), dropped out in her second year.
The suspect, recently paraded by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, along other criminals, confessed to have committed the offence. She went into the act because of her medical condition. Besides, she said she was abandoned by her parents and lived in the streets before she went to school.
She spoke with Daily Sun: “My name is Rakiya Baida, I am from Okene, Kogi State. I was arrested for impersonating as a doctor and generating false alerts to pay businessmen and women. I would go to a shop and buy something and pretend to have paid thorough transfer and hurriedly leave the shop.
“I have been in this for like a year and six months now. I started in Kwara State and was arrested last year October, taken to court and sentenced to prison. While I was in Kwara State, I had some business people. They gave us Jalabia dresses and gold to sell.
“We were to return the money to them after selling. After I took those items, I sold and didn’t return the money to them. That was how I was arrested and sent to prison.
“After serving my prison term, I travelled to Plateau State. There, a friend gave me N950,000 to help him in farm business. All I needed to do was buy him cows get them to the abattoir to slaughter, sell and return his money. But I did not return his money after selling the cows. He got me arrested and that was how I came to Abuja.
“I dropped at 200 Level Medicine at the Bayero University, Kano. I am 29 years old and the first child of my parents.
“I feel very bad about this whole saga. My parents are separated and I was the only child they have. My growing up was terrible.
“I was not close to either of my parents because no one cared about me. But I do sometimes talk to them. My dad is from Okene while my mum is from Delta State. I grew up on the streets.
“At some point, my daddy was paying my school fees when I was going to school. I got pregnant then I dropped out of school. I chose to study Medicine because I have a passion for Medicine since I was a child.
“I have been arrested for more than a week now and my father is aware. My advice to young girls is that no matter how bad or hard the family you come from is, it is better for you to hawk goods than get yourself into any crime.
“I want to add to say that I don’t wish to do this but it is because of my health condition. I needed money to take care of my health that is why. I have been suffering from coronary artery blockage, which makes me throw out blood and faint at times and fall sick.”