By Law Mefor
Days ago, last Friday to be precise, I spent almost the entire day trying to get to the root of 2 fraud teams. They wanted my money at all costs. As a Forensic Psychologist and Journalist, it was fairly easy for me to follow them to point I was able to extract very sensitive information, which can help the fraud units of both the Police and EFCC to round them up if they so desire. From what transpired, these are large and well-oiled criminal gangs.
It started with an innocuous face book chat reproduced hereunder
Matthew Ashimolowo: The LORD said there is someone here today, he said from all indications you are cornered; He said I will get you out. He said the anointing that will take you to the next level has been released and I will give you much more than you are asking for. You will knock on one door, seven will open.
Me: Amen, man of God
Matthew Ashimolowo: Beloved in Christ. GOD our father will always supply all your needs, I will pray for you and your family also I want you to have the faith that GOD loves you, know that our GOD is a merciful GOD. Always pray before you go to bed, I shall support you in prayers. He knoweth them that trust in GOD our father, so you have to trust in GOD, have the faith my beloved i shall pray for you and your family it shall be well with you. Stays bless my child in Christ. GOD want to use you as a point of contact to bless all the peoples around you and also provide your needs beloved send me your prayer request I will always put along in my prayers.
Me: thank you man of God.
Matthew Ashimolowo: send me your prayer request I will always put along in my prayers.
Me: simply God’s promotion and protection, man of God
Matthew Ashimolowo: All you ask of God so shall he do for you if only you have faith in him and believe he can make the impossible possible. Do you believe in seeds sowing? Sow a seed to the needy; there is a program going on now in GOOD Divine Wounds Of Jesus Christ Orphanage Home I want you to contribute because the bible says in Luke 8:11 – The seed is the word of GOD .Luke 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. Genesis 26:12-13 – Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year and hundred fold: and GOD our father blessed him. Psalm 33:4 For the word of GOD our father is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Corinthians 9:6 – But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he which soweth greatly shall reap also greatly. Genesis 26:12 – Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundred fold and GOD our father blessed him.(If you believe say amen).
Me: I don’t believe in seed sowing, man of god. Because I love you as a person, I will do it this once, how do I sow?
Matthew Ashimolowo: have you contacted them?
Me: contacted who? I don’t have anyone to call or something like that.
Matthew Ashimolowo: go to my friends list you will see Divine Wound; just add them, okay?
Me: do me a favour, man of God; ask one of your men to call me: 08037872893 or give me a number to call. I have exceeded the 5000 friends limit.
Matthew Ashimolowo: I will tell my secretary to call you as soon as possible. When they say it is over for you, suddenly they will hear news that the door has opened for you! The eagle believer does not rely on natural strengths. (Zechariah 4:6). As you lean on God, where people expected you to fail, there will be a testimony
Matthew Ashimolowo: Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Chat Conversation End
The so-called Secretary called me on this line: +2349034315455 and promptly requested I sow a seed and I agreed and asked for the account number of the orphanage to pay in. Instead of the Church account number or that of the orphanage, this is what he sent to me: Account number: 3068496570; acct name; Airiomohe Goodluck; First Bank.
I called him back and made my reservations known and demanded that Matthew Oshimolowo should direct me to pay into private account.
A purported Matthew Ashimolowo came through in a jiffy and told me it was perfectly ok to pay in and my miracle would be on the way the moment the alert rings at their own end, in a voice that almost convinced me. The renowned Pastor called me 3 more times when it was obvious that the banking hours were running out and it was weekend.
Somewhere as I was on this other transaction, I received another phone call the same Friday from one Dr. B. Momoh. He reminded me of our old friendship, which he said was interrupted by his long absence overseas for further studies.
“We met at the Igbo Programme at Yar’Adua Center 2 years ago and you gave me your number,” he prodded my memory. He further told me he had since resumed somewhere I can’t remember now and was posted to Zamfara but had to work his way back to Bayelsa (Otuoke to be precise) to escape the rampaging Boko Haram insurgency. Now, there a supply I had to help him make in Abuja to some expatriates named Engr. Kim Lee and Dr. Rose Orene and collect a handsome cut 30% net profit.
Dr. Momoh then sent me a text, reading; “Note, the material is SOLAR POWER KIT. Model 10A. Quantity 100 cartons, price NN350,000 each, to supply my Consultants at N470,000. Source is Julius Berger, Material Manager is Elder James Ogar, phone 08092260290. Thanks Engr. B. Momoh”
I told him it was okay by me and he gave me the number to call the Material Manager at Julius Berger PLC named Elder James Ogar. I called Elder James and he was happy I was coming from his old trusted friend Dr. Momoh. I got back to Dr. Momoh who promptly supplied the telephone numbers of the Expatriates and I called them. They were glad and told me they would be in the next flight from Port Harcourt and would meet at Transcorp Hilton Abuja, in 2 hours or so.
Both Engr. Kim Lee and Dr. Rose Orene spoke what sounded Pilipinos; I can’t tell whether it was faked or not; If faked, then, these Nigerians are grandmasters in their game. About 2 hours later, the expatriates called me and said they were in Transcorp Hilton and that I should come with 3 packets as sample before I could collect money for the suppliy. I called Momoh and relayed the hiccup, who asked me to call Elder James to seek assistance with advance 3 packets. Elder James told me it wasn’t possible and that I had to pay for the 3 packets upfront. How much? A pack is N360 thousand. Ahaa!! That is it! I was wondering all along where I would be parting with money and here it is! I had to cough out over N1 million, which was certainly what they were after.
“If you are serious pay into the account that I am going to text to your phone.” His line angrily went dead and message came almost instantly. Account name: Denis Vaji; account number; 3077041626; Bank; First Bank.
I called Momoh and ranted I had no cash. He reminded me he was in remote Otuoke and wouldn’t be able to do any bank transaction from there but would make a call or two. 5 minutes later, he called to tell me the sister in Minna could raise N600 thousand and I should try to raise the balance. I promptly told him I couldn’t raise. He then suggested we work on just two packets instead of 3. I still said not deal. He bargained till N100 thousand and still said no deal. Momoh screamed; “you just want to spoil this business for me.’ I could feel his world crashing around him and feared for his heart.
Strangely my expatriate friends who came all the way from Port Harcourt never called again to ascertain what delayed me. Again, it was time for me to discontinue since I had collected both the bank details and telephone numbers of both fraud teams.
Question is: why is crime and criminality flourishing in Nigeria? The answer is simple. There is no serious intention to fight crime in our clime. Starting with the banks; nobody opens a bank account without some basic details that will enable him or her to be traced thereafter if the need arises: utility bills showing home address, passport photos, signatures, references, etc. Yet, fraudsters open dozens of accounts in Nigerian banks and rob Nigerians and Government with them and the law officers watch and do little or nothing.
Again, few years ago, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) spent billions of Naira on SIM Card registration. What was intended was to store biodata of Nigerians who hold GSM phones. The NCC soon told Nigerians that already registered Sim cards were on sale all over the country and being purchased by whoever wanted. No arrests were made and prosecution, so one will not be surprised if these GSM numbers are not registered to any traceable names.
Nigeria just has to get serious as a country and where to start is in fighting crime and no nation can fight crime without a national database that can be relied upon. Otherwise, why can’t the Police and the EFCC fish out these fraudsters with the bank and GSM details provided here?
• Law Mefor, a Forensic Psychologist and author, is Director, Center for Applied Psychological Services, Abuja; +234-803-787-2893; email: firstname.lastname@example.org