By OKOSUN DENNIS
A lady identified as Love Asiegbu has narrated a tale of how four men and a lady duped her of N5, 320, 000 after been hypnotised in Lagos.
Narrating her ordeals to National Daily, Love, a staffer in a new generation bank, said she was a victim of “juju” African magic manipulation.
She claimed that the suspects made her “moronic” before cowing her to extract the money.
Three of the suspects, Rotimi Adeluola, 45, Aloysius Orji, 49, and Bunmi Olomola, 31, have been arrested while Chiedozie Akoma is on the run.
Trouble started for Lover who has been relieved of her job as a result, when she boarded a Toyota Camry on the 29th July, 2016 on her way to the office.
Soon after she entered the car, the only female passenger; who was sitting in front of the seat started crying, yelling that people were after her life claiming they wanted to kill her. “She was soliciting for help from people,” she added.
Explaining how she parted with N5, 320,000 through three instalments, she disclosed that N320, 000 was transferred the same day she encountered the suspects and another N500,000 later through two account numbers operated by one Echebiri Onyinyechukwu in UBA with Account Number: 203247122 and Akoma Chieodozie in First City Monument Bank (FCMB), with Account Number: 3785411011 respectively while the balance of N4.5m was delivered to the criminals in her office in cash.
National Daily gathered that due the way the lady was yelling for assistance, she was compelled to ask what her problem was. Unfortunately, she was oblivious and never knew they were fraudster.
Immediately the conversation ensued, she lost control of her sensibility, and acted “sheepishly” according to their dictates.
Love further stated that “It was unfortunate I found myself in this mess. It was really unfortunate. How everything happened is what I can’t really say. The best word to use is hypnotised. I was hypnotised.
“I boarded their vehicle from Isele-Egbe around Ikotun to Isele expressway. Rotimi is the boss and sponsor of the gang. They used Toyota Camry, and I thought they were just like some private individuals that use their cars to pick passengers on their way to work.
“I can’t remember everything that transpired in the vehicle. The only thing I observed was that they revised and headed back to where we were coming from. I could recognise we drove pass my bus stop where I had boarded the car,” she reiterated.
Expatiating further how she got enmeshed in the conversation in the car, Love added, “The only conversation was that the lady that sat in the front seat was crying for help. That was how I got into it. She was saying that someone was after her life and that they wanted to kill her. That was the only thing that happened hence I got into discussing with them.
“When we got to a particular place (I don’t really know the area), another man hopped into the car. Also, what happened there, I don’t know. What I could remember was there was a conversation and I can’t remember vividly what we discussed. There was nothing that they showed me that enticed me –nothing.
“After that, they told me I needed to pay the sum of N320, 000 to them. I was dumbfounded and asked for what? I told them I don’t have that kind of money. They insisted claiming they know where I worked and it was something I could defray. I was just looking like a maroon; in fact, I called myself a maroon.
“Immediately, they gave me a UBA account number and I immediately transferred N320, 000. There were two account numbers. I made the first transfer the same day which was on Friday, 29th July, 2016. After that, they started bombarding me with telephone calls almost every five minutes with juicy words: “Hello Madam, sorry about the inconveniences.”
It was gathered that the conmen used different GSM lines which include 08079558924, 09095996618, 08101559192, 08089168821 and 07016358319, and different voices to call her.
Asked if she saw the lady again after the first encounter in the car, she retorted: “Since that day, I never set my eyes on her again.”
National Daily further gathered that two days after the lady met the fraudsters; they called her on Sunday, 31st July, 2016 requesting her to raise some money and when she demanded to know the reason, they terminated the call.
At that point, she still kept everything to her chest as she was still in delusion.
However, the following morning about 6am, “While I was preparing for work, they called to tell me that they were already in front of my office. I was shocked because I never told anybody about my office; I didn’t.
“Unfortunately, despite all that I went through, I didn’t tell anybody about it. Even my aunt that was with me; I never discussed it with her. I was like in a trance. The only time I told somebody was after they had accomplished their mission. It was like a speck; a veil fell off my eyes. I realised myself,” she narrated.
The fraudsters having traced her to where she works; entered the banking hall and she parted with N4.5m cash in her possession; money belonging to the bank that she was supposed to dispense to customers and they disappeared.
She further told National Daily that about five minutes after they left, “I realised myself and shouted for help. That was when I knew I was into a deep mess. I eventually reported the matter to the police.
It was learnt that through police brilliance and impeccable investigative prowess, they traced and apprehended one of the suspects.
“I nearly died before I got through to the police. During investigation, it was discovered that everything information about the bank account: name, phone numbers and addresses were all fake.
“It was discovered also that the account was opened by a woman and managed by a man. God was so kind and faithful that we were able to track them on Facebook through someone that knew the face of the lady they used to open the account.
“When one of them was arrested, he confessed that they were sponsored by their boss, Mr Rotimi. He was also traced to his house but before he could be arrested, he jumped down from upstairs and escape arrest.
“Eventually, through another lead, he was eventually arrested before Easter holiday. Rotimi Adeluoba, who resides at Igando area of Lagos was said to use the following phone numbers: 09078599941 and 08180148892 during the illicit transaction.
However, the suspects were arraigned at the Igbosere Magistrate Court last Friday before Magistrate Ayenuga. They pleaded not guilty to the one count charge.
The charge read: “that you Rotimi Adeluola “m”, Alyosius Orji “m” and Bunmi Olomola “m” now at large on or about 29 July, 2016 at Ikotu Egbe, Lagos in the Lagos Magisterial District did obtain the sum of Five million naira from one Love Asiegbu “f” with representation that you will supply her gold and jewelleries, a representation you know to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 318 of the criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
The case has been adjourned to 19th May, 2017 for further hearing.