The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has cleared 48-year-old Abuja street beggar caught with N500,000 and $100 cash, of any wrongdoing and then handed the money back to her on Thursday, February 17.
The woman was detained by the Social Development Secretariat (SDS) of the FCTA after she was found in possession of the huge sum of money last week.
Malam Sani Amar, the Director, Social Welfare Services of the secretariat, described Ibrahim, an indigene of Kaduna State, as one of the die-hard beggars that had been apprehended by the secretariat’s task force many times.
“It was very fortunate that on Feb. 9, Ibrahim was apprehended among other beggars on Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent in Wuse II,” Amar said.
“In all honesty, we never knew that she has such amount of money on her. What we normally do whenever we apprehend people we search them thoroughly to ensure that they do not carry any object that can harm them or our staff.
“Then, we profile them to know where they come from and what they are doing apart from begging.’’
“She knows what she is doing, she can differentiate between right and wrong,’’ he said.
Amar described Ibrahim as “economical saboteur’’. “There are many people looking for 10 per cent of what she has as capital to do a business that would sustain them without resorting to begging.
“But she is here with N500,000 plus 100 dollars notes which is N57,000 equivalent yet not investing it and still pretending to be poor beggar who has nothing to eat.
“So, in our own way as social councilors, we will subject her to psychosocial therapy because she has social deformity,’’ he said.
The director maintained that the money belonged to her and said the FCT Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre at Bwari Area Council will rehabilitate her.
Earlier, the beggar told NAN that she had been begging on the street of Abuja for the past 10 years.
“I used to come out daily from 4 p.m. to 11p.m. to beg for money around Wuse II and Maitama. Sometimes rich people around the area give me N5,000 or N10,000 and even dollars.
“If I get huge amount of money, I will travel to my hometown, Kwanan Danja in Zaria, Kaduna state and when the money is finished I will come back,”
“The day I was apprehended with the money, I came out with it to buy kitchen utensils for my daughter who will be getting married very soon.”