A United Kingdom-based woman, Augusta Osaigbovo, who was accused by her elder sister, Gladys Osaigbovo-Omon, 60, of sending assassins to kill her, has responded to the allegation, calling her a liar.
Some weeks back, Gladys, at the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, told the world that Augusta hired one of their cousins, Osaro Okonoboh, living in Benin, Edo State, to kill Gladys over an issue that happened in UK.
Augusta, however, is now claiming that Gladys and other family members lied against her by accusing her of trafficking young Nigerian girls to UK for prostitution.
Stating his own side of the story earlier, Okonoboh alleged that he was contacted by Augusta to contract assassins that would murder Gladys.
According to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, when the police got wind of the assassination plot, two policemen went undercover and successfully aborted the plan.
Speaking earlier, Gladys said: “My younger sister, Augusta, took my daughter to UK. When she was taking her, she didn’t ask me for money. But when they got there, she started demanding money from me. She said I should pay her for taking my daughter overseas. Augusta prepared fake travelling papers for my daughter. When she got there, she was not able to get any good job. Augusta wanted my daughter to work as a prostitute, which she refused.
“Since then, Augusta has not been speaking with me. She then went to hire people to kill me. But God revealed this to me. She used UK Police against my daughter, but everything turned against her. I called and asked if she used police against my daughter, who is actually her niece, she told me that they would return my daughter’s dead body to me in Nigeria. I said God forbid!”
Gladys said those hired by Okonoboh to kill her couldn’t carry out the deed because of her nice behaviour towards them.
Her words: “They said that because I was good to them, they couldn’t carry out the deed. When they asked Okonoboh why he wanted to kill me, he said it was pure business. That was how we contacted the police.”
The suspects were said to have been arrested in Benin, Edo State. According to Okonoboh, his greed led him into taking sides with Augusta to contract people to kill Gladys.
He said: “Augusta called me one day, saying that Gladys’s daughter caused her a lot of trouble in UK. She said that Gladys, when she was told of the issue, took sides with her daughter. This angered Augusta. It was Augusta that took Gladys’ daughter to UK for a better life. Augusta insisted that I should assist her to kill Gladys.”
Imohimi said: “On July 26, the police rounded up the gang that was planning to assassinate Gladys. The crux of the matter was a case of human trafficking gone awry. The eldest is Gladys. However, a time came when Gladys begged her younger sister, Augusta, to take her daughter, Mercy Omon, overseas for better life. While in the UK, it dawned on Mercy that her aunt is a leader of a prostitution ring and had recruited her into prostitution. Mercy refused to submit herself to prostitution, prompting Augusta to give her up to police authorities in the UK. Mercy wriggled out of the trouble and convinced the UK police that her travail was caused by Augusta who brought her to London with job promises unknown to her that she had ulterior motives. The police now turned against Augusta and jailed her. When Augusta finished her jail term, she complained to her sister Gladys, that Mercy, who she brought from the village to help, has ruined her. Feeling that Gladys was supporting Mercy, Augusta decided to hire assassins to eliminate her sister.”
According to Imohimi, police planted two agents, Igbinedion Ogbevon and Success Ehiosun, to play along with the hired assassins, leading to the arrest of Okonoboh and his friend, Oboh.
However, how the incident, which happened in Benin, came to be handled by Igando Police Station in Lagos State is yet unclear.
Augusta, in a petition dated August 17, 2018, requested the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to get a crack team of detectives attached to the IGP’s Special Intelligence Response Team, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to carry out thorough investigations into the allegations levelled against her.
Augusta said: “I am Augustina Osaigbevo being referred to in this matter by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police. In the U.K, I am known as Tina Osa being the abbreviation of my name mentioned earlier.”
Augusta disclosed that the petition to the IG was not just for him to ensure proper investigations were carried out to confirm the allegation, but also a protest and redress based on the press conference and the allegations emanating from it concerning her as mentioned by Imohimi.
She continued: “I am making this complaint with deep wounds in my heart and therefore asking the IGP for a comprehensive investigation so that my reputation and integrity severely tarnished by Mr. Imohimi can be restored.
“It saddens me that my hard earned reputation and integrity is being rubbished in this ridiculous manner; particularly by the Nigeria Police which is supposed to, by its statutory responsibilities, regulations, professional ethics, have investigated thoroughly before embarking on public prosecution and judgment.
“I am too decent and polished to be involved in such allegations or engage anybody in it. It is interesting to let you know that the major actors in what I would regard as orchestrated and organized drama are my family members. While Gladys is my elder sister, Osaro Okonoboh, the paraded suspect, is my cousin.
“Ironically, this gang-up and frame-up by some of my family members is not the first of its kind. It actually started in 2012, when Mercy, Gladys’ daughter that I took to the United Kingdom and who was staying with me, framed me up, linking me with human trafficking.
“The British Metropolitan Police did what the Nigeria Police in Lagos failed to do. They carried out pain-taking investigations for six months. I was only invited as when my attention was needed. I was never detained, prosecuted or jailed as alleged by the Nigeria Police.
“At the end of their investigation, I was cleared of all allegations and issued a certificate to that effect. Imohimi, without conducting any investigation criminalized me, maligned my reputation by linking me with heinous crimes without substantiating the allegations.
“That some of my family members decided to go so low and condescend to this level is understandable based on their selfish motives and their pull me down syndrome but that the Lagos Police Command as represented by the CP and the officers involved, could be part of the actors in the movie script is baffling, shocking, unfortunate and disgraceful.
“The officers should explain why they agreed to play a role in this conspiracy theory because all the explanations the Police provided did not add-up all to any sane mind. My worry like many Nigerians abroad, is the role the police played in this drama and what could be the intention of the police officers involved?
“My family wants to bring me down at all cost because I put a stop to sacrificing my entire life to providing for their financial needs and my decision to put an end to the conduit pipe that they have become, draining me for 18 of my 23 years in my sojourn in the U.K.
“More troubling is the involvement of the Lagos Police Command. I have grown up children now that I need to take care of. We, Nigerians abroad, have heard of the superb and breathe taking investigations and intelligence gathering techniques by your Tactical Response Teams and the world acclaimed achievements by the I.G intelligence Response Team (IRT), which has placed Nigeria in the league of highly respected countries.
“The conduct of your officers in Lagos in this matter falls short of the standard your office has set in the area of intelligence gathering and investigation as exhibited by the teams mentioned above. I am a certified social worker in the U.K and before you become one, you must have been investigated and cleared by the security agencies in that country.
“This latest frame-up in which the Lagos State Police is playing a prominent role, is a grand plan to extort money from me with the believe that Nigerians abroad are very rich in hard currencies. If the Lagos police command is sure that the allegations were true, they would have undertaken to carry out proper and detailed investigation to get to the root of the matter and bring all actors to book instead of carrying out public prosecution, blackmail and blasphemy. They were busy demanding money from the suspect and the family.
“I want to say without fear of any contradiction that all the allegations made against me by the Lagos State police commissioner; the prime suspect, Okonoboh and Madam Gladys are farther from the truth. These are just a figment of the imaginations of the police commissioner; the prime suspect, Okonoboh and Madam Gladys.
“I have never at any point in time, place or through any means of communication contracted either the suspects or any other person or group of persons to harm, kidnap or kill Madam Gladys or any other person, for that matter. I have lived in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years with my husband and children. In the past 22 years, I have only visited Nigeria twice.”
Augusta explained that Gladys is truly her elder sister, being her mother’s first daughter, while Mercy is Gladys’ daughter.
Augusta said: “I spent my early life staying with her. I left her place in Benin after my Junior Secondary school education. I spent 13 years of my life with her in Benin, Edo State. I left her place for my brother Anthony Osaigbevo’s place in Lagos where I completed my secondary education before I travelled to the United Kingdom in 1994 where I completed my University education.
“Ever since I left Nigeria, I have earned a sense of love and loyalty to Gladys and her children who are seven in number, most especially Newton, who graduated from the University of Benin and currently working with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), formerly Nigerian Electricity Power Authority (NEPA). I took care of her as my mother while seeing to the education of the children. I do not know where I had gone wrong.
“I was committed to her and her children up till six years ago precisely 2012, when I decided to go my separate way. My first visit to Nigeria was in 2007, and when I came, I was shocked that in spite of all my financial commitment and support to Gladys over the years, she was still in abject poverty. She pleaded if there was any way I could help by taking one of her children with me to the United Kingdom. I told her I could not do that immediately because of the financial implication.
“With my departure to the United Kingdom, I felt I had to double my financial obligations towards her and the children. This culminated in them moving to their own house in 2011. Before then, they were staying in a rented apartment that I was paying for. I also contributed my own quota to the building of the house.
“However, after my return to the United Kingdom, I learnt that Mercy, Gladys daughter, had got married. She was staying with my brother Anthony Osaigbevo in Mushin, Lagos, even before she got married. In 2008, she had a baby but few months later, the baby died. Mercy’s husband, Nelson, travelled to Libya with the intention to join his sister in Italy. But in Libya, Nelson was critically sick and I had to send money to Nelson and encouraged him to return to Nigeria to enable him receive medical attention. He returned to Nigeria in 2009 but unfortunately he died.
“That is to say Mercy married in 2007, had a baby in 2008, the baby died same year while the husband died the following year. She was just 26 years old. I was weeping, it was very sad and I was not comfortable with her predicament. Gladys children are my children that was the way I took care of her children. Mercy is the fourth child. I raised all Gladys’ children, grew up with them till I left Benin.
“After Nelson’s death, I thought of how to support Mercy. Before her marriage with her late husband, she was learning hair dressing but couldn’t complete it as a result of her marriage. Thinking deeply of how to raise her up from her predicament, I suggested to Mercy to go and complete it since her husband was dead, so that she could join me in the UK. All I did was to ensure that her life changed for the better because she is my sister and like my daughter.
“She completed her hair dressing training in 2011, shortly after, she joined me in the UK in late 2011. She secured British visa and collected her passport. I sent money to her for the preparation and to buy her a ticket. I arranged her coming to join me in the UK. The fact that Mercy lost her child and husband almost the same time promoted my intention to help her as urgent as I deemed fit despite the fact that I was not that buoyant financially.
“If Mercy’s husband had not died, she would still be in Nigeria because I didn’t have the resources. I kept supporting them financially. My assisting Mercy to come to the UK was strictly to elevate Gladys.
“After Mercy came to the UK, I assisted her in getting a Job at a saloon because she was at that time a good hairdresser. The place she was working is called LINDA HAIR SALON. She also had a part-time job as taking someone’s child to school every morning.
“In the course of helping Mercy regularize her immigration status, something went wrong and she was arrested and detained. The application Mercy submitted in regularizing her immigration status was found faulty and was not accepted.
“The British Police came looking for her at my place. Then she was arrested and detained. Mercy and her family blamed me for all that happened. At this point of time her visa had expired. The arrest was 10 months after her coming to the UK and her visa was only six months. They detained her with the hope of deporting her to Nigeria.
“At that point, Mercy, facing deportation, brought me into it. She told the British Police that I had trafficked her from Nigeria and that she was been lured into prostitution. She made all those allegations just to avoid deportation. She told them I was a human trafficker, who brought her to the UK with fraudulent documents. She continued by saying I would bring men to my home and that they would abuse her sexually, and that I would collect the money.
“Mercy was arrested on July 1, 2012. Incidentally, it was on the day I was giving birth to my 4th child. The police came to my home on August 14, 2013, and told me that an allegation of human trafficking had been made against me and this led to police invitation. At the police station, I was asked different questions like; is mercy a witch? Did Mercy’s husband’s family accused Mercy of being a witch for killing her husband? Did I take her to the shrine before bringing her to the UK? Did I ask Mercy to pay me 50,000 dollars?
“After questioning me, I was asked to go home and to report at the station whenever my attention was needed. I reported there for about five times because the investigation lasted for about six months. The last time I saw the police, the officer in charge namely DC Richardson, he gave me a report of the investigation which completely exonerated me, expressly stating that I had no case to answer and that I was no longer required to surrender and testify. I also have a letter from my solicitor in support of the British Police clearance.
“I was never detained, taken to court or even jailed as a result of the false allegation made against me by Mercy contrary to what Imohimi said about me in public. I made a decision not to have anything to do with Gladys and her children. Since that time, I had nothing to do with Gladys or the children.
“While I was at the hospital (when I had given birth to my 4th child) Gladys called and was threatening me in different ways telling me to do all I need to do to ensure that her daughter remained in the U.K and not deported. After being discharged from the hospital, I gathered courage to at least call her (Gladys). She didn’t allow me to speak but kept on threatening me, raining abuses. At that point, I decided to have nothing to do with Gladys.”
Augusta recounted: “Before now, my brother, Anthony, living in Mushin, had issues with me. I bought him a jeep in 2013. I gave him 6000 pound then to do that. I have to renegotiate my mortgage to enable me raise the money, yet he was not satisfied. Secondly, he wanted me to sponsor his children abroad which I offered to do but in a different way. He did not like my own approach to his request. I am not a business woman. I am an income earner and have a family to cater for. The way I used to spend money on my family back home reduced and they did not like it.
“My brother insisted I sponsor his first son to have his Master’s Degree in the U.S, I told him I couldn’t afford it. I told him I could help to get him a visa to the United States; I wanted to sponsor his son to the U.S without paying for his master degree course. I told him I could sponsor his son with the visitor’s visa, but he insisted that it has to be student visa that will enable him get resident permit probably through marriage.
“I explained that I am paying for my own school fees for my master’s degree and that my daughter will enroll in the university in September. My brother insisted that I have to sponsor his son’s education in the U.S. He opposed my suggestion, insisting that the visa I was advocating to get for his son could lead to his son’s deportation eventually. He told me he learnt that the United States President, Donald Trump, wanted to deport Nigerians. I explained to him that what he wanted me to do could cost me about 20,000 dollars and that I did not have that kind of money. But he would not listen to me.
“I gave him another suggestion. I told him that his son should go to Germany where I have a brother. He refused, stating that his son is 30 years old and too old to start studying German Language before being allowed to regularize his stay. My brother whom I stayed with in Lagos is also part of this plot because I refused to organize the traveling of his son to the U.S to do his master’s degree. When this matter came up and I was informed that my name was mentioned by the Police, I called my brother to go to Igando Police Station, where the matter was being handled and represent me by making a statement on my behalf that I knew nothing of the allegations. Surprisingly, my brother showed no interest.”
Speaking on Okonoboh and Oboh, Augusta stated: “Osaro is my cousin and I communicate with him from time to time as my younger brother and I also provided him financial assistance in whatever capacity I could. However, at a point about two years ago, I reviewed my relationship with him when it became obvious to me that he was busy all the while defrauding me in the name of assisting to acquire landed properties.
“At a point, I decided enough was enough. Osaro has his own motive. Osaro has paid me back with evil. I have supported Osaro in so many ways. Osaro is a thief, he has stolen a lot from me and the best way to cover up is to dent my image, claiming I asked him to carry out an assassination attack if truly he said so. I don’t really know why this thing happened. I don’t know where I have gone wrong.
“Osaro is a cheat who has made away with lot of my money and I decided to limit my communication with him and his family. The relationship has been strained solely because of his fraudulent conduct on several occasions that I have lost count of. I never discussed with him to attack, kidnap or kill anybody, not even my sister, Gladys, who is also his own sister.
“The only telephone call I received in the month of July, 2018, came from Evelyn, Osaro’s wife. She contacted and informed me that her husband was arrested in Benin. Later I heard that Osaro was arrested in Lagos for the second time. The last time I spoke with Osaro, months ago, I was discussing with him about the properties I asked him to help me get. My discussion with Osaro then was never for him to hire anyone to kill or kidnap Gladys.
“All they are saying are just false allegation and an orchestrated effort to set me up and frame me. I have not spoken to my people at home for some time. The recent call I got was from Osaro’s wife who called me a couple of days before Osaro was arrested in Lagos. She told me that Osaro had been arrested in Benin and that the people who arrested Osaro were demanding N3million. She said that I should assist them financially so that Osaro could be released. I demanded to know what my cousin had done for those who arrested him to be demanding N3m. Her response shocked me a bit because she explained that a gun was found with someone and the person said Osaro was the one that gave him the gun. However, the story was not clear at that time, until eventually I heard Osaro was released by the Police in Benin.
“Osaro’s wife told me some people picked her husband up on the street of Benin and took him to a remote place and called her to demand for N3m or else they would hand him over to the police to parade him. I told everybody, including Evelyn that I did not have money for whatever matter they were trying to resolve and that Evelyn should inform Osaro’s brothers and sisters living in Germany?
“At that point, I didn’t even understand what was going on and why they were demanding for money. Before I now heard again that Osaro was arrested in Lagos. I immediately called my elder brother, Anthony, who told me that they were trying to resolve the matter. I do not know whether my refusal to give money at this stage as demanded by my family members was the cause of this gang up and frame-up.”