An overseas-based Nigerian businessman, Mr. Callistus Chidozie Okafor, has cried out to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, and President Muhammadu Buhari to order the arrest of Mr. Paul Odogwu, a businessman, who allegedly swindled him of N15 million.
Okafor is also pleading that the President and the IGP should prevail on the necessary agencies to recover the N15 million from his supposed friend, Odogwu, who he claimed was using the influence of a powerful government official to frustrate police investigations into the matter.
Okafor, who narrated his ordeal to Daily Sun at the weekend, said his travails started in 2009 when Odogwu convinced him to purchase a parcel of land in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, which he obliged and sent him the required N15 million from his base abroad.
Okafor alleged that Odogwu presented him a document indicating that he purchased the land in Abuja, saying: “When I came home in 2017, I went for verification of the land, only to discover that Odogwu gave me fake documents and he did not really buy any land for me. So, I petitioned the Zone 2, Police Command, Onikan, Lagos, because Odogwu resides in Lagos and does his business in Trade Fair International Market, Ojo, Lagos.
“In the petition, I reported how my friend convinced me to buy a parcel of land at Lugbe 1, Extension Layout, Abuja Municipal Area Council, and later presented me with a document titled ‘Irrevocable Power of Attorney,’ purported to have been given to his company by another company, Demco Textile International, and receipts as well as offer of the term of grant/conveyance of approval purported to have emanated from Abuja Municipal Area Council.”
However, according to Okafor, when he got to the aforesaid office in Abuja to confirm the authenticity of the documents, he was told point-blank that the documents were fake, and all his efforts to recover his money from Odogwu 10 years after have failed.
The petitioner said that the policeman who investigated the case discovered that, based on a letter sent to the Federal Capital Territory Administration Department of Lands, plots MF 8034 and CP 8047 Lugbe 1, Extentsion Layout, were not in the list of allocations forwarded from Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Zonal Planning Office, and the N15 million was not used to purchase the land as claimed by Odogwu.
Meanwhile, reacting to the allegations, Odogwu claimed that he was also a victim: “We were four friends that bought the hectares of land from Mrs. Jeremiah. We came together from abroad. My portion of the land was 3.2 hectares, while Okafor’s was 2.5. There is no need for all these allegations. We were fighting the woman together, until I started campaigning for the presidency of Balogun Market Association, Trade Fair Market, and my opponent cashed in on it and started blackmailing me that I swindled my friend.
“My friend allowed the trick and started working with it. I don’t know what he did to my friend that he started using the police to harass me. He should come so that we all fight the woman to give us our land. I know that he paid some money through my account to Jeremiah, but he should not forget that I am also a victim. He claimed that I am using my powers to thwart investigation, that is a lie.
“I employed the services of a lawyer who has been bailing me from one police station to the other or one prison to the other. There is no need for all these things; we are friends and we were swindled. Let us unite and fight for the land together. He said that I am running from the police, not at all, because I am in contact with the police. I am not a dupe but a genuine businessman.”