PRALARG BAD EXPERIENCE WITH FEARFUL PERSON, OUR REGRET
So many times I have said it, that you cannot defend a fearful person, not even God can defend such person.
We have our bad experience and we thank God for taking us through this challenges and we have learned our bitter lesson.
Check your Bible and read Revelation 21:8, fearful people would end up in hellfire.
Let me take you on the journey.....
Do you remember Taiwo Egbebi alias Alhaji Gold? I didn't know him either until sometimes in 2016 when a lady came to Petals 102.3 FM Bodija to meet me for complaint. I shared the story with Mr Desoye Omotoso, the anchor of Taloye program on petals and we aired the issue.
More victims begin to show up, we lias with police on his arrest, someone volunteered his picture and we shared it with some people until Alhaji Gold was apprehended.
WHAT WAS THE ISSUE WITH ALHAJI GOLD
ALHAJI gold was apprehended and was displayed at the office of the commissioner of police Eleyele, journalists came, my dear reader, it was a celebrated case, nobody gave us any credit and we did not ask for any, all that I asked for was ALHAJI gold to be arraigned within the jurisdictions he committed the crime but the police did not listen to me, they arraigned in Oyo State where he did not commit the crime, though, he is still in Agodi Prison.
Permit me to share what one of the journalists wrote on him... I will later tell you our own bad experience in this case, first read this...
'A 39-year-old welder, Taiwo Lawal Egbebi, who decided to seek a shortcut to quick wealth bowed his head in shame on Thursday, June 23, at the premises of the headquarters of the Oyo State Police Command, as his victims hollered at him, screaming and clapping: “Oju ole re, ole! (Behold the face of a thief and a fraudster)!”
But before they had the opportunity of shaming him publicly, Egbebi had caused untold silent pains to each of his victims by sending them to prisons in Nigeria and abroad for crimes they did not commit.
Crime Reports’ investigation revealed that the suspect’s stock-in-trade was to deceive innocent victims into making them believe he was a businessman, after which he would offer them the job of a sales girl. At other times, he would tell those in business that he could take them to countries where they could get goods at cheaper prices. He would thereafter take them on such business trips and swindle bureau-de-change operators and merchants, leaving his innocent ‘salesgirl’ or ‘business partners’ to face the music of the crime committed by him.
The Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade, who spoke with Crime Reports on the arrest of the suspect, said Egbebi usually introduced himself to people as Alhaji Kazeem Ade-Alaso and Ade-Gold, making them believe he was into the sale of clothing materials and gold.
One of the victims, Ajani Adunola, who spoke with Crime Reports, said: “The suspect cajoled me and another lady, Ismail Saidat, to follow him for business in Lome, the Republic of Togo, on November 28, 2012, saying goods were cheaper there. In the guise of changing naira to CFA, he stole from the money given to him by the bureau de change operator we went to and disappeared, leaving us behind.
“The money he stole was seven million CFA which is N2.1million. Because of this, we were arrested and were in prison for 17 months. We were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment but after we paid the money, we were released.”
On how she came across Egbebi, the lady said she and Saidat were in the same vehicle with him on their way to Cotonou in a commercial bus. “I was discussing on phone with a customer who wanted me to buy some kegs of vegetable oil for her. After finishing the call, the suspect told me that he was a vegetable oil merchant in Lome.
“That was how I fell into his trap. He told me that vegetable oil was cheaper in Lome, saying I should go with him. He asked for the money for the business and I told him that I had already changed the currency to CFA. He approached some bureau de change operators in Togo and told them that he had dollars, displaying a bag. After collecting the cash, he left his bag and went out. When he did not return, the bag was searched and we discovered he stuffed it with vegetables and rags.”
Lending her voice to her friend’s narrative, Saidat said: “My friend and I were on our way to Cotonou to buy vegetable oil, shoes and bags for sale, but the suspect convinced us to follow him to Togo. Along Cotonou and Togo highway, police stopped us and he cajoled me into borrowing him some money, saying he had only dollars. After the police released us, he took us to Lakoji area and people told us that it was Ghana border with Togo.
“The suspect approached a Hausa man for CFA. When the man went to bring the money in a Ghana-must-go bag, I asked the suspect to bring out his dollars but he warned me that we needed to be careful, as the Hausa people were wicked and could disappear with the dollars. He had earlier collected N42,000 from us.
“As we were counting the money, he smartly removed seven million CFA, after which he said he wanted to charge our phones for us. That was the last we saw of him. The Hausa man said the money he brought was no longer complete. We searched for the suspect but he had already disappeared with our phones and money.
“We were confused: They didn’t understand Yoruba or English and we could not speak French. It was a Yoruba man who was nearby that told the Hausas not to beat us, as he could understand what we were saying.
“Police were invited and we were taken to police station. After the third day, we were taken straight to the prison. We spent 17 months in the prison, hired a lawyer and paid back the money the suspect stole before we were released. Our families had to sell properties to get us out because we were given 20 years imprisonment.”
Crime Reports also gathered that Egbebi was once arrested at State Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku, but was released on bail when he was down with tuberculosis.
Another victim, Yusuf Mujidat (22), also narrated her ordeal thus: “A friend introduced the man to me when he said he needed a sales girl. He said he had a shop at Gbagi, Agbeni and Ogunpa. I said I would do the job and he promised to pay N15,000 monthly, N200 daily transport allowance and N250 travelling allowance.
“He showed me a shop at Agbeni but because it was a Thursday, he said the shop would not be opened until 10 a.m. He took me to Asaba in Delta State on April 7, 2013. He bought gold worth N1,046,400 and disappeared on the pretence that he wanted to buy a drink, leaving me behind.
“I spent seven days in the police station in handcuffs, and spent one month and three days in prison. My parents spent a lot of money to get me bailed. We paid for surety in the sum of N300,000, a lawyer collected N170,000 as charges, and I still paid back the gold money.”
Staring straight as he spoke with Crime Reports, Egbebi confessed: “it is true that I defrauded people and also put my victims in trouble. I learnt welding job as a vocation but there was no one to help me set up the business through the purchase of necessary equipment. I started defrauding people in 2012 to make some money but stopped in 2014. I picked it up again in 2015 when survival became difficult.
“What I usually did was to tell people that I needed a sales girl. I would go to a shop, pick my phone and start talking to no one that I needed a sales girl. Such people would recommend known persons to me and they were the ones I was using.
“Typically, on her first day of resumption, I would ask the sales girl to follow me to other parts of Nigeria to buy goods. Sometimes, I would stop at a bureau de change to change non-existing dollars to naira. In the process of counting the money, I would remove some and leave the sales girl to count the rest, saying that I wanted to buy a drink or ease myself. I would disappear with the money that way. Sometimes, it was goods such as gold jewellery. The sales girl would be held instead of me.”
Egbebi said he was arrested in 2014 but was released due to ill health. One of the vehicles he brought from the dubious business transactions was however impounded and is still at the Iyaganku Division.
When asked whether he was never pricked by his conscience, the suspect said he was, but since he had no means of repaying what he had taken, he later ignored victims’ families’ calls. He said he built a house and bought two vehicles, one of which he had sold. He said the total money he collected was about N4 million, though the Commissioner of Police put the money at over N5 million.
Other victims are Arije Olabisi who was taken to Kano State; Hamzat Abiodun whom the suspect took to Owerri in Imo State; and Iyabo Owolabi who was taken to Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and remanded in prison for three weeks.
The Commissioner of Police said that the suspect would be arraigned in court after the conclusion of investigations, while he urged other victims to come forward for more evidence to be taken against him.'
You are welcome back, Peter Oloyede and his wife, became victims of ALHAJI Gold, and were arrested four and half years ago, his wife later found someone who stood as Surety for her to be released from prison, she later got pregnant for another man while her husband still in prison. Peter Oloyede became a pastor in Kano prison with no one to help him out for four and half years behind bars until we heard of him.
HOW DID WE KNOW ABOUT HIS CASE
His mother later heard the program from gbongan in Osun State and came asking for help, she said she had not seen her son for almost five years he has been in prison. She cried, Mr Desoye Omotoso discussed him on radio and a good Samaritan from Canada sent some money for mobilization, I promised to help bring him out and also work with him through his criminal prosecution so that only the suspect faces the judgement, thank God ALHAJI Gold had been arrested at that time.
One of PRALARG members from Kano, Alhaja Aishat, who happens to be a formal NLC chairman in Kano volunteered to go, she went to the court, we wrote letters and Peter Oloyede was released to our comrade and we received him in Ibadan on Wednesday 24th August 2016.
WE WROTE A PETITION
We later heard that the court is likely to go on with the case and found Peter Oloyede guilty of a crime he did not commit, we asked the court to issue a court order produce ALHAJI Gold but she refused, we later wrote a letter to the Chief Judge of Kano and the Attorney General of the state on the matter, telling them what was happening, we also attached the certified true copy of the charge sheet of ALHAJI Gold for their perusal.
Case changed for better, everything slowed down, we begin to experience positive sign that everything is going to end well.
PETER OLOYEDE JUMP BAIL
Just when we are enjoying the direction of the case, we did not mind the transport fare we have to give him for his trip to Kano on every adjournment date, Peter stopped going to Kano for his case, the court started asking us the whereabouts of Peter Oloyede, we started spending money to search for him, we talked to the DSS, Police headquarters and Area Commanders including the AIG, we invited Timothy Oloyede his elder brother who happens to be a serving police officer in Osun, all of them saying they cannot find him.
We found ourselves in a mess just because we wanted to help, the court keeps adjourning, given us time to search him out, later a last adjourn date was given, 30th January 2018.
The Last Day
Alhaja was present in the court, all the suspects were absent, it was really a case, three options have been given before, present Peter Oloyede, Alhaja goes to prison in his place or we pay the bail sum of one million naira.
our lawyer fought for the reduction of the bail sum, his prayer was granted, the sum was reduced to N700,000, to pay at least N350,000 that day or Alhaja goes to prison.
The message was related to me, I was a bit happy and a bit unhappy, I was happy because it was not beyond that, not happy because we don't have that much and she could still go to prison if care is not taken, I have just two hours to raise N350,000, I checked every of my account, the little I was keeping for the USA trip and other peoples money, I sent the first half and my dear Alhaja was released.
We are waiting patiently for the next and last adjournment, we have to raise the last part if Alhaja is going to be finally free.
So, when next you are visiting any of PRALARG offices nationwide for help, try to think well of the kind of help you are going there for. We have warned our members never to stand as Surety for anyone again.
Caption. Peter Oloyede in red and yellow Jessy. Timothy Oloyede in red and black pollo, OLOYEDE' Mother, Comrade Akinwunmi Olayemi in green. Mr Desoye Omotoso in Ankara.