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LIFE DRAMA: How we defrauded N675m for spiritual cleansing and prayers – Couple tells Court

A combined photo of Alaka and Adewale

A syndicate of seven men has defrauded a couple of N675 million in the guise of carrying out spiritual cleansing for the family.

Narrating the family’s ordeal to Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, Lateef Bello said the syndicate led by Sanlabiu Teslim was in “total control of our senses”.

Bello disclosed that the influence of Teslim led him and his wife to fall into the “merciless and deadly hands” of a 419 syndicate that specialized in the use of traditional rituals and medicine for cleansing from evil forces.

He told the court in July 2023 that he lost £800,000, along with another N175 million to the syndicate.

The defendants, Morufu Adewale (aka Gbegulerin Adelana), Omitogun Ajayi, Ajisegiri Abiodun, Abayomi Alaka (aka Dauda Usman Alashe), Taiwo Ahmed, Raufu Raheem, and Teslim, looked on in the dock as Bello reeled out his story of how at different times, starting from a shrine in Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos State, to another shrine in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, the members of the syndicate playing different roles, successfully hatched the scheme that saw him part with more than N675 million.

The defendants are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Bello disclosed that his son had some challenges, and Sanlabiu offered to assist by taking him to a spiritualist who would be of help.

He said: “As soon as I entered the place, I wasn’t myself. I thought he was taking me to an Islamic cleric, however, it was herbalist.

“In fact, Omitogun Ajayi noticed it and said to me, ‘Focus on this place, do you know where Jesus Christ was born?’

“He now consulted his Osanyin at the shrine, and then he gave us a bill of about N230,000 that we need to buy some things like ram and so on, which I paid.

“He now said that I have to bring my wife, and that was the period my wife was preparing for retirement, that she will be the one to pray when they do their rituals.

“When my wife came, they gave us different concoctions to drink, and they made incantations.

“Omitogun was the main man, then he now said that the Osanyin said that we need to go and see their Baba in Ijebu-Igbo who will finalize the prayer for my son.

“A few days later, myself, my wife and my son, and Sanlabiu, my driver, and Omitogun Ajayi and one alfa, who is one of them and currently at large, went to Ijebu Igbo.

“Two days later, myself, Omitogun Ajayi, the alfa, Sanlabiu, and my driver, went there with the ram, which we bought at Ijebu-Ode, that we needed some other prayers for the family.

“He welcomed us and then took us to one room, and when we entered the room, there was a curtain from where he was communicating with us.

“When we got to Ijebu-Igbo, that was where we met Morufu Yahaya Adewale, who disguised himself so well like an elderly man of over 100 years old.

“He now told us the things we are going to do, and afterward, he said they’ve finished with my son, and that we should come back in two days’ time, that when we are coming we should buy a big ram.

“Two days later, myself, Omitogun Ajayi, the alfa, Sanlabiu, and my driver, went there with the ram, which we bought at Ijebu-Ode, that we needed some other prayers for the family.

“When we got there, they slaughtered the ram and some other things, after which they said I should remove my dress and gave me a wrapper to cover myself.

“They now took me to one place, where they were boiling water, and I saw the water boiling and they poured the water on my head, but it was very cold.

“After this they did the same to my wife and they said they were going to take us to another room in the same house; we knocked on the door, and we started hearing some noise of some women.

“They now opened the door, and immediately we entered the room using our back, we now saw about nine women wearing white clothes.

“They claimed to be white witches, and said that they were there to help us; they now said though they have finished with my son, but that we have a lot of spiritual problems in my family, and my extended family.

“They said during their own investigation, my wife will soon retire and that another bigger office was ahead of my wife, and that we still need to do a lot of spiritual cleansing for the whole family in order for her to get there.

“They now demand for opo kan translated to one million in English language and it was my first time hearing that; emphasizing that it should have the picture of a woman and must be red in colour.

“When we got to the room where Yahaya was, he was the one that now interpreted that what the white witches meant was one million British Pounds.

“And that, once we get the one million pounds, it will be put in a box, and that after one week, we are going to be given our money back, and then there will be an ornament under the money, which my wife will be expected to put on, and they named it oluomo.

“My lord, they were in total control of our senses.”

Bello continued: “Before we left that day, Morufu Yahaya instructed Ahmed Taiwo, to give us the account number of one Gbegulerin Adelana (the alias of Morufu Yahaya), that we needed to buy some things before the £1 million and so demanded N1 million which I paid into the account.

“They now said that those witches only drink the blood of pigeons, and so collected N200,000 to buy pigeons for those witches, and N10,000 for the cage as they said they’ll buy them at Sagamu.

“Omitogun kept assuring us that we were at the right place, that even when a governor was about to leave office, he came to see those white witches; that he initially took the Osanyin to Benin, and he also brought a serving governor to the shrine.

“Apparently they knew my wife was going to retire and she would get her gratuity and pension.”

He further disclosed that the family later raised £800,000, which was handed over to the syndicate.

He said after the payment of the £800,000 cash, they were asked to go to a river for a ritual while the syndicate members kept demanding more money from him which ran to about N175 million.

“They insisted on collecting cash, and declined to take bank transfers,” he added.

According to him, during one of the rituals, unknown to him, the syndicate was recording them.

Bello told the court that in the course of the incident, he ran into debt, and only late in the day, did he realise that he had been scammed.

“I later got a call from Abiodun Ajisegiri (third defendant), who claimed to be an investigative journalist,” he said.

He stated that Ajisegiri, who posed to be working with LTV and Radio Lagos, claimed to be in possession of the video clip of where we were engaging in rituals and that he was going to broadcast it.

A report by THE STAR quoted him to have said: “I tried to explain what happened to him and how we were defrauded of the sum of almost N675 million.

“He now said that he was going to investigate and that I should bring N300,000.

“I paid an initial N100,000 to his bank account, and I later paid another N50,000.

“The day I paid the N50,000 I called his number to let him know, but he said he was at a meeting and that he would call me back.

“So later he called me and said that he was with those people and that they were demanding N50 million from us in order not to broadcast the clip. He now asked if we can deposit N5 million as the people can kill or kidnap us.”

 

Source: Barristerng

Tags : FraudLife DramaSCAM
Adewale Adenrele

The author Adewale Adenrele

Journalist, PR, Researcher, Tourism& Cultural promoter, Social commentator. Correspondent @Africandevmag

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