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How Shell Staff Connived With Police To Extort N3m From Me —– Travel Agent

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September 30, 2019, seemed like a normal business day for Dayo Ayoade, Managing Director of Travel Deals Limited, Lagos, until he discovered that his bank had placed a lien on his account.

On approaching the bank, he was arrested and detained at the Area F Police Station, Lagos State without any charge for a period of five days, placed in the cell amongst hardened criminals and handcuffed to the hospital bed like a common criminal and later transferred to Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Inquiries from his family about his whereabouts revealed that a certain Joseph Ezekwugo, Technology Manager at Shell Petroleum, Port Harcourt, ordered his arrest, alleging that he was duped by Ayoade and should be remanded in police custody until he pays the sum of N3.4 million.

Ayoade said: “The whole drama started on July 22, 2019, when one Ayanniyi Babatunde Daniel of Range Travels came to my office to make inquiries about my discount tables for sub-agents and expressed his willingness to do business with me. He told me to do travel reservations for Mr. Joseph Ezekwugo from Lagos to Winnipeg on Lufthansa, Ottawa to Winnipeg for his son on West Jet, Lagos to London return for Jenmi Nikky Omolola on British Airways and Oke Oluwale Abayomi on Ethiopian Airline. The reservations were made and immediately forwarded to Mr. Ayanniyi Babatunde via WhatsApp. I gave him my account number before he left the office to enable him to make payment once his client gives his approval.

“Later that evening, an unregistered number called me and introduced himself as Joseph Ezekwugo from Port Harcourt and wanted to know if he’s speaking with the MD of Travel Deals Limited, I answered in affirmation, and he told me his agent (Ayaniyi Babatunde) gave him my number and account. I called Ayaniyi Babatunde and notified him of the call from Mr. Ezekwugo Joseph and he confirmed to me that he gave him my details. Shortly after that, I got an alert of Seven Hundred Thousand Naira (700,000.00) from Mr. Ezekwugo Joseph. I immediately called the two of them to notify them of the payment and Mr. Ayanniyi told me that more payment will still be made as he (Mr. Ezekwugo) will be traveling with members of his family.

“The following day, on July 23rd, 2019 I received another payment of Five Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Two Hundred Naira (N557,200.00). I again notified Mr. Ezekwugo via text message and called Mr. Ayanniyi to let me know the tickets to be issued as I will not be responsible for any increase in fares and he told me he will liaise with his client get back to me and even confirmed that more payment will still be made.

“About a week after, Mr. Ayanniyi came to my office and asked me to issue the ticket as follows:
“(1) British Airways ticket to London for Jenmi Nikky Omolola at a cost of Seven Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety-Eight Naira (N755,598.00).

“(2) On August 19th, 2019, he was in my office to issue another Ethiopian Airline ticket for Vitalla Golla at a cost Three Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand Six Hundred and Two Naira (N353,602.00).

“Same day, he asked me to issue another ticket for a local flight to Mr. Ezekwugo from Port Harcourt to Lagos but I told him we don’t do local tickets because of the stress involved. He then requested that I send him the balance of One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira (120,000.00) after deducting the Twenty Thousand Naira (20,000.00) I borrowed him to enable him source for Mr. Ezekwugo’s local flight ticket.

“On September 26th, 2019 an unregistered number called me and introduced himself as Inspector Dominic from Port Harcourt. He asked if I know Mr. Joseph Ezekwugo and why I issued him a fake ticket. I told Inspector Dominic that though I don’t know Mr. Joseph Ezekwugo in person but we spoke with twice on phone and I didn’t issue any ticket to him. I further told the Inspector that the two tickets I issued from the payment Mr. Ezekwugo gave me were in favor of Jenmi Nikky Omolola and Vitalla Golla which were on instruction Mr. Ayanniyi Babatunde, his agent and that the balance of his money has since been transferred Mr. Ayanniyi Babatunde. Inspector Dominic later made a snapshot of the purported fake tickets to me and I told him that what he sent to me did not originate from me as they did not even resemble my company’s ticket format.

“Shortly after, I called Mr. Joseph Ezekwugo to intimate him of what Inspector Dominic told me but was surprised when he affirmed it. I questioned why he didn’t notify me when he realized the ticket given to him by his agent were fake, he gave no answer to that and further said my company has been used to defraud him by his agent.

“All attempts to get in touch with Mr. Ayanniyi Babatunde who was the one that came to my office to do all the negotiations proved abortive as he initially refused to pick calls and when he eventually picked, he was so evasive as he kept giving excuses of not been around.

“On September 30th, 2019, I realized my account was frozen and I had to go to the bank to enquire why there is a restriction on my account, to my surprise, the bank’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) showed me some documents from the Inspector General’s office effecting my arrest on sight. I followed him to the Police Station hoping that the issue will soon be resolved since I knew I had not committed any fraud.

“We met the DPO who took us to the Area Commander and after so much going back and forth, I was detained and locked up in the cell. Due to my ill health, I was moved from the cell to stay behind the counter overnight. My health got worse the following day and was taken to the hospital (Cottage) on the order of the DPO and was handcuffed to the bed. I was treated for my Asthma ailment and in the cause of the treatment, it was discovered I had developed high blood pressure.

“I was moved to the police station again on Thursday morning where I spent the day and night behind the counter before Inspector Dominic finalized his paperwork and we proceeded on the trip to Port Harcourt. We were to move by road but had to buy flight tickets for the two police officers that came from Port Harcourt namely Inspector Igwe Dominic and Sargent Oludare Olamide.

“We got to Port Harcourt same Friday, I wrote my statement with the police and later met one Mr. Chukwukaelo Ogadinma who said he is Mr. Joseph’s Personal Assistant. Mr. Ogadinma insisted that I must pay Three Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N3,500,000.00) before I can be granted bail. It was later discovered that Mr. Chukwukaelo Ogadinma is a staff of Shell and was employed by Mr. Joseph Ezekwugo to further confuse and make-believe the allegation against me. To further put fear and intimidation in me as well as extort money, Mr. Ogadinma boasted of how much money he had paid the police to effect my arrest and that the said amount must be paid before my release. All pleas to release me fell on deaf ears.

“Not even my proposal to be responsible for the only Two Million Two Hundred Thousand Naira (2,200,000.00) which was the cost of the fresh ticket Mr. Joseph claimed he bought since he already had the plan to travel and to spend One Million Two hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand Two Hundred (N1,257,200.00) yielded any positive result as his “PA” insisted I have to pay Three Million Naira N(3,000,000.00) final payment or else I should remain in police custody. Already I was locked up in the cell with criminals and couldn’t imagine spending another night there.

“When all pleas fell on his deaf ears, a friend of mine, Jide Akinuli transferred Three Million Naira (3,000,000.00) to Mr. Chukwukaele Ogadinma and upon receipt of the payment, which he confirmed via online banking, he asked the Police to release me.

“After all the necessary paperwork, I was released on bail later that Friday night.”

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Man Dies After Taking Sex Enhancement Drugs To Satisfy Lady In Onitsha Hotel

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Barely two weeks after a married man was found dead in Lagos, while lodging with a prostitute; another middle-aged man, Paul Okwudili, was confirmed dead Monday morning, after having sex with a lady in Onitsha, Anambra State.

According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Anambra Command, SP Haruna Mohammed, Mr. Okwudili’s cause of death may not be unconnected to an overdose of sex enhancement drugs taken to satisfy the lady.

The statement reads in part: “On the 24/2/2020, at about 0:3am, the manager of Plus View hotel in Onitsha reported at Central Police Station, Onitsha that one Paul Okwudili ‘m’ aged about 40years of Ogboliolosi, off Awka Road, Inland town, Onitsha, allegedly took a lady to the hotel and lodged.

“Minutes later, the lady came out shouting for help and the hotel management who went to the room and discovered the man gasping for breath took him to St Charles Boromeo hospital Onitsha for medical attention where the victim was later confirmed dead by a medical doctor on duty.

“Meanwhile, the scene was visited by Police detectives attached to CPS Onitsha and photograph of the victim obtained. No marks of violence on the deceased body but some drugs were discovered in the hotel room reasonably suspected to be enhancement drugs”.

The Police spokesman said, the corpse has been deposited at the hospital mortuary for autopsy, while the lady was arrested for further investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.

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North Has No Justification To Remain In Power, Presidency Should Go To The South After Buhari —- El-Rufai

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The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has insisted that the North has no justification to remain in power after the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure.

El-Rufai maintained that the Presidency should rightly return to the Southern part of Nigeria.

He said though the constitution of the All Progressives Congress, APC, does not make provision for rotation but in the interest of justice, equity, and fair play, Presidency should go to other regions of the country.

Vanguard quoted him as saying: “The general political consensus in Nigeria is that the Presidency should rotate between the North and the South. It is not written but everyone understands it.

“In some of the parties, like the PDP, it is even written down in their constitution but it was breached in 2015. I think that every politician of honour should understand and abide by that consensus except there is an extenuating circumstance compelling it to be set aside. What could this be?

“President Yar’Adua died in office and it was compulsory for Jonathan to continue but when 2011 election came, there were many people who insisted that Jonathan should step aside for a northerner to complete the tenure of Yar’Adua but I opposed it because I didn’t think it was proper for an incumbent that got there not by his own design should be stopped from contesting when the constitution has not barred him from running.

“In the APC, we deliberately omitted rotational Presidency in our constitution and the emergence of a presidential candidate does not take into account zoning and that was why in 2015, Rochas Okorocha from the East contested, Sam Nda-Isaiah contested, Buhari, Kwankwaso and others contested.”

El-Rufai a chieftain of APC, added that presidential candidates are chosen on the basis of merit and general acceptance.

“I can say that as distinct from the PDP, APC has no rotational Presidency but candidates are selected strictly on the basis of political merit and the general acceptability of the candidate.

“I want to say that those of us from Northern Nigeria honour agreements. We do not violate unwritten political agreements and I will be the last person to lead in violating that agreement. I may have a personal view but that should be the basis. I don’t care where you come from but I look for merit.

“But as a group, the Northern APC will have to sit down and endorse someone, most likely someone from the South, because after eight years of Buhari, I don’t think the Presidency should remain in the north unless there is some extenuating circumstances. But all things being equal, we will honour our agreement and we keep our words,” he said.

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Woman, 3 Others Jailed 160 Years Over Fake Naira Notes

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A woman, Hadiza Bello, and three other accomplices have been sentenced to 160 years in prison by a Federal High Court, sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, for dealing in fake naira notes.

The convicts were dragged before the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission after they were caught at a checkpoint along Girei-Yola Road.

A statement from the ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said five suspects — Hadiza, Mohammed Dauda, Bello Salisu, Ali Adamu and Hassan Bello, were involved in a deal to exchange the sum of N5m counterfeit notes for N1m real notes, adding that Hassan, a native doctor, could not be sentenced because of his death before conviction.

The statement said, “A Federal High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, has sentenced four persons, including a woman, to 160 years’ imprisonment on a multiple-count charge of conspiracy and possession of counterfeit banknotes.

“Justice Abdulazeez Anka, who handed down the sentences to the convicts in the case brought by the ICPC, ruled that they would spend 10 years in prison on each of the four counts preferred against them.

“Three of the convicts, Hadiza Bello, Mohammed Dauda and Bello Salisu, had in March 2017, left Kaduna and were joined by the fourth convict, Ali Adamu, from Kano, to meet a native doctor, Hassan Bello, who was a counterfeiter at Wamdeo Uba, Borno State, with the intention to procure about N5m counterfeit banknotes to exchange for about N1m genuine banknotes from a customs officer.

“The deal with the customs officer did not go through for undisclosed reasons. However, as they made their way back, they were caught at a checkpoint on Girei-Yola Road, with counterfeit N1000 banknotes to the value of N5, 504,000 by soldiers on duty and subsequently handed over to the ICPC.”

The anti-graft body said an investigation launched by its officers led to the residence of the native doctor at Wamdeo Uba, where he was arrested.

“A search conducted on the premises revealed more counterfeit N1000 bank notes reading the same serial number to the value of N26,000.

“At the conclusion of investigations, except for Bello Salisu, who was charged with abetment to commit an offense of possession of counterfeit banknotes, the other four suspects, including the native doctor counterfeiter, were arraigned on four counts of being in possession of counterfeit banknotes, which is an offense contrary to sections 5(1) (b) and 6(2) (b), and punishable under Section 5(1) (c) of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act, cap. C35, LFN 2004,” the statement added.

In his ruling, Justice Anka found the accused persons guilty on each of the four counts and sentenced them to cumulative 40 years’ imprisonment each, although the sentences would run concurrently.

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