A 35-year-old suspected fraudster, Isiaka Olatunde, has revealed how he and his brother, Ismaila Olatunji, allegedly used the names of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, to swindle a contractor N25 million. The suspects were alleged to have swindled the contractor, Ganiuyu Orimoyi, of N25 million under the guise of helping him procure contracts from the office of Dasuki.
The brothers were arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
Some time in 2014, Olatunji lied to the victim that he was an aide to Dasuki, President Goodluck Jonathan’s NSA. He told the victim that he could help him secure contracts from the NSA’s office. He ended up extorting him to the sum of N25 million.
Orimoyi said he met Olatunji through his brother, Olatunde, a POP engineer, working for him at one of his building sites in Kwara State. Olatunji told the victim that he had a brother working with the former NSA. The victim believed him and when he was asked for money to perfect some documents for the contract, he didn’t hesitate.
The extortion, however, took another dimension when Dasuki was arrested and locked up by the Department State Services. Olatunji told Oriyomi that as an aide to Dasuki, his bank accounts were being monitored by security agents. He further lied that his accounts had been frozen. He said he could no longer access his funds, which he wanted to use to fine tune the victim’s contract. He asked Orimoyi for loan, promising to pay back after Dasuki’s release.
He continued to propagate his lies by further claiming to be discussing with Tinubu, to provide him easy passage to join the APC, so that the National Leader of the party would later assist in facilitating the unfreezing of his accounts. Olatunji told Orimoyi that as soon as Tinubu assisted in talking to the relevant authorities to unfreeze his accounts, he would refund him. He then asked for more loans to facilitate joining of the political party.
Orimoyi complied, but in 2019 after Dasuki was released, the situation took a new turn. The victim demanded for his money, but the brothers went underground.
Orimoyi said: “He and his brother told me they were in India receiving treatment and wanted me to come over so we could conclude our transactions. I went to India, but when I got there and called their phone numbers, they didn’t pick. I had to return to Nigeria. They called me again, saying they feared DSS might be using me to tail them.”
The brothers then asked him to come to Ghana, where they had holed up, working seriously on joining the APC. Again, the victim bought ticket en-route Ghana, but while in the plane, they called and told him they were returning to Nigeria, that he should wait for them.
He said: “I stepped down and immediately the plane took off, I was arrested by some security men. They wanted to know why I stepped out of the plane. I was only released after the plane landed in Ghana. I wrote a petition to the IGP and the case was assigned to the IRT Unit in Osogbo, Osun State. Olatunde, who linked me to Olatunji, was arrested.”
During interrogation, Olatunde claimed to have given the N25 million defrauded from Oriyomi to a popular Islamic cleric in Offa, Kwara State, known as Alhaji Ismail Mustapha. He alleged that whenever he defrauded Oriyomi, he takes the money to Mustapha, who had been preparing money ritual charms for him.
Following his confessions, IRT operatives swooped on Mustapha, who during a face-to-face confrontation, denied Olatunde’s accusations. Mustapha, however, paid N5 million to Oriyomi on bond and also went on to enter a court agreement where he promised to pay the balance of N20 million. But Mustapha, who felt wronged, wrote a counter petition, demanding further investigation into the matter.
At a point, Olatunde, Oriyomi and Mustapha were all invited to IRT office in Abuja. But Olatunde later disappeared from the station. He was rearrested a few months later and confessed to have lied against Mustapha. Olatunde, however, insisted that it was N8 million he and Olatunji collected from Oriyomi.
Olatunde, a father of three, explained: “In 2012, I met Oriyomi, who gave me a job to do for him. We became friends and my brother, Olatunji, asked me to lie to Oriyomi that he had links to Dasuki. This was in 2014. My brother told him that he could help him get contracts from Dasuki’s office. I collected the sum of N300,000 and I told Oriyomi my brother had issues with his BVN and that whenever he needed money, he would call him. My brother and Oriyomi became friends.”
Olatunde said Oriyomi started sending money regularly to Olatunji. When Oriyomi realised he had been defrauded, he asked Olatunde for the whereabouts of Olatunji, but “I told him my brother was in India receiving treatment. He flew to India, but he didn’t see him.” The suspect further stated that by the time Dasuki was arrested and remanded, his brother had milked Oriyomi of N8 million.
He said: “When Dasuki was arrested, Oriyomi started disturbing us to refund his money. We promised, but my brother suggested we should lie that Mustapha collected the money for ritual. When police brought Mustapha and I together, I accused him repeatedly until he got tired and accepted he would refund Oriyomi’s money. Mustapha wrote a counter petition and the case was moved from Osun State to Abuja. When I realised the truth would soon be out at the IRT’s office, I ran. I ran to Lokoja, slept in a garage and then travelled to Sango-Ota area of Ogun State, where I started a new life. I was there for some months before the IRT Operatives came to arrest me.”