a group has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, over alleged complicity of operatives of the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB), Lagos, in an over N10 million fraud case brought before it.
In a letter issued on Thursday by Okechukwu Nwanguma, its executive director, the group called on the IGP to allow the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Alagbon to take over the matter.
According to the letter, Osuji Onyedikanne, a Lagos-based businesswoman who also runs a travels and tours company, had in a petition informed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police of being defrauded by one Gladys Gift Stephens in collaboration with others.
According to the group, Onyedikanne revealed shortly after she petitioned the police commissioner that Gift Stephens and her alleged accomplices were arrested by the command.
She, however, said that to her surprise, the suspects were soon released. The distraught businesswoman claimed several efforts to get justice in the case have proven abortive with operatives of the SIB allegedly protecting the suspects.
The petition reads: “Mrs. Osuji Onyedikanne informed the Lagos CP in her petition that she met the said Mrs. Gladys Gift Stephens in an event in Lagos sometime in 2019 and they familiarized and remained in communication.
“Sometime in April 2022, Gladys Gift Stephens came to her with Mr. Chigbu Kenneth, Chika, Ovuozor Desmond Oghenefejiro, and Nwosu Emeka Charles (whose claims to being a lawyer is doubtful), and lured her into funding a business which she was meant to believe she would be part of.
“They used the name of a dubious company given as Golden Knights Ltd./Golden Knights International Sports Ltd., and claimed that they use the company to recruit upcoming football stars for trial in Spain. They printed and distributed fliers and made claims of collaborating with the Nasarawa State government as well as the Embassy of Spain for which they tendered several documents that made her feel convinced about the genuineness of the business.
“They collected from her the initial sum of six million naira (6,000,000.00), and seeing that they had won her confidence, Mrs. Gladys Gift Stephens later came back and collected another sum of about four million, five hundred thousand Naira (4,500,000.00) in the pretence that she was investing it in another business for her.
“She informed us that what convinced her to facilitate the last loan of 6 million naira for them was because they showed her a document written in Spanish which they claimed was an MOU they reached and signed with the Consular, Spanish Embassy, Lagos. They claimed that the Consular had agreed to be issuing them visas if they register the company in Spain and then fund the account with about €10,000 – €20,000 and leave the money in the account for two weeks as proof of funds.
“After receiving the money, they absconded and were no longer taking her calls. It was then she realised that they are a syndicate of fraudsters who specialize in defrauding innocent citizens in the guise of investments in the importation, exportation, and business establishment.
“She said she later found out that there are other victims who had been defrauded by this same syndicate and who are still making efforts to recover their money but to no avail as they seem to be enjoying the cover of a particular senior police officer who always intervenes to get them released whenever they are arrested by the police.
“This has emboldened them to continue in their criminal activities. One of the syndicate members Nwosu Emeka Charles who lays doubtful claims to being a lawyer always boasts of being a member of the Buccaneers secret cult and threatens to send his cult member after their victims if they press too much for refund. This has been the fate of Mrs. Osuji Onyedikanne.”
The group said Onyedikanne had already declared that she no longer trusts the SIB operatives in handling the matter. It called on the IGP to intervene in the case and ensure justice.
The letter added: “Mrs. Onyedikanne informed us that she has lost confidence that she can obtain justice from the police investigators at the SIB Lagos State Police Command, despite her huge financial support to them to enable them to carry out a diligent and effective investigation; hence her appeal to the IGP to kindly and urgently direct the AIG FCID Alagbon, Lagos to take over the investigation with a view to ensuring a prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigation, ensuring that these fraudsters pay back her money, release her clients’ International passports, and are also fully unravelled to identify other crimes they have perpetrated against other unsuspecting citizens.”