Mnena Ato, Managing Director of Star Shawarma, a pastry outfit in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, has revealed how a N1,600 transaction landed her in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
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Speaking to The Punch, she said she was arrested alongside her accountant and sales boy after an official of the anti-graft agency purchased an item worth N1,500.
According to Ato, the official paid N1,600 via bank transfer. She added that her accountant could not confirm the payment but allowed the woman leave because they trusted her explanation.
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“So, when the accountant did not receive the alert for the payment of N1,500, he decided to draw the attention of the sales boy to it and directed him to contact the EFCC officer to inform her of the development.
“The rule of the company is that if any customer purchases an item from a salesperson and the salesperson fails to collect money and there is shortfall in revenue, such shall be deducted from the salary of the salesperson.
“It is on this that my worker continued calling the officer to remind her of the payment.
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“This transaction took place on April 9, 2020, but when we finally got the statement from the bank, there was no shortfall in revenue and the person, who sold the item to the EFCC officer, got his full salary at the end of the month and I directed the salesperson to call the officer and apologise to her.
“Less than 20 minutes after my employee had carried out my instructions, operatives from the EFCC office came and occupied my company premises, insisting on picking me, the accountant and the salesman.
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“All my pleas fell on their deaf ears and at the end of the day, I was picked up alongside my accountant and the salesman. We slept in their detention facility and we were released on administrative bail on Saturday.
“I don’t want to dwell more on the matter because we are trying to resolve it. My manager and the accountant have been directed to report today (Monday) and it is after that, I will be able to speak further,” she said.
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The Punch reports that Johnson Babalola, the zonal head of the EFCC in Benue State, said Ato was invited when an officer of the agency went to the shop to show evidence of the online payment she made for the item she purchased, but she was almost beaten up.
He said Ato and her staff were allowed to go after their explanation.