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How Fake Army General Defrauded Me Of Nearly N300m – Witness

The EFCC on January 13, 2022, said it had arrested one Bolarinwa Oluwasegun who was allegedly posing as an Army General.

 

A prosecution witness, Bamidele Safiriyu, has narrated how one Bolarinwa Abiodun, a self-professed army general, posing as the son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo defrauded him of almost N300 million.

Bolarinwa is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a 13-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery of documents, and possession of documents containing false pretence.

He is standing trial before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, EEFC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Testifying as the first prosecution witness, Safiriyu, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, narrated how the defendant defrauded him in a well-calculated fraud scheme to the tune of N266,500,000.

Describing himself as a businessman who deals in “clearing and forwarding”, he said he registered two companies, Kodef Clearing Resources Limited in April 2008 and De-Rock Maritime Resource in July 2013 both for “the clearing purposes”.

 

The General

The witness identified the defendant in the dock and narrated how their paths crossed, leading to him being defrauded by the defendant who claimed to be an army general and claimed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was his father.

He told the court that on a Friday, sometime in April 2017, one of his trucks that he loaded going to a customer’s cold room hit the defendant’s Honda Accord.

“He (Bolarinwa) detained the truck because he moves in a convoy of soldiers,” said the victim. “On Saturday, the following day, I got a call from my client that some soldiers have hijacked the container.

“I became troubled because it has never happened before and that Saturday, I was to travel out, and so I was just praying because I didn’t know what to do.”

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Safiriyu told the court that some of those working with him, including his younger brother, had to step in to see what they could do.

He recounted, “Later in the day, I received a call from this young man and he introduced himself as General Abiodun Bolarinwa, a general in the Nigerian Army and a son to Baba Olusegun Obasanjo, former President.

“He told me in that conversation that my truck was with him that the truck bashed his car and his boys brought it to where he stays at Abule-Egba. Later my team also met with him, and they got the issue resolved after spending about N200,000.”

Bolarinwa continued afterwards to communicate with Safiriyu, who even saved his phone number as ‘General Bolarinwa’, Uwujaren stated.

 

COAS Contest

According to him, the defendant once came to his office in a convoy of military personnel with a banner of former President Obasanjo adorning one of the vehicles.

“He came with a convoy, and they were shooting in the air and everywhere was scattered,” the witness narrated. “Later he sent me a message that he is going to be made the military assistant to the president at Aso Rock.

“He sent me the letter and he said he would need some assistance, claiming that in the army you are going to provide everything you need. Later he said he was vying for the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) that he has been nominated by the President and that he needs money to press and process the appointment.

“I was reluctant at first and started asking myself question if he wants to become army chief and he claims to be Baba Obasanjo’s son; as a former president, will he not just need a call from him to press anything?

“So, I asked him, ‘you said you’re baba’s son, why can’t he take care of this? He replied and said you know that baba doesn’t want to do that because of the polygamous home and so he doesn’t want to be seen as the one financing him.

“In 2013, a message came in to my phone saying ‘I, President Obasanjo’. Then a few minutes later, he called me and said, ‘Baba has been trying to reach you’, but that I was not picking his call. I checked my phone, I saw only a text, no missed call, and I told him; he said that Obasanjo has been trying to reach me to thank me for all I have been doing for him.

“Then later a number called me, and it showed the name ‘Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR’ as the caller, and I picked up the call, it was exactly Baba’s voice and he said to me to help my brother financially to become COAS that he will repay me.

“So, I said, ok, sir; and that was how at various times he kept requesting for money. He said he needed money to travel to go and meet emirs to make his intention known, that he has been nominated to become the next COAS.

“Any time he needs money, he will use the number, sometimes he asks for N5million, N6million. I did not know that he was not even in the army and never even passed through the army; this I got to know much later.”

Safiriyu told the court that the defendant posing as Obasanjo’s son even invited him to Obasanjo’s birthday in 2020.

According to the witness, he was able to later get an audience with Obasanjo who denied that the defendant was his son.

Thereafter, he petitioned the EFCC, when he realised belatedly that he had been duped of almost N300 million.

The prosecution, thereafter, tendered in evidence the petition along with several attachments, including letters, confirmation letters and several photos sent to him by the defendant to deceive and defraud him.

The bundle of documents was admitted in evidence as Exhibit A while the victim also took time in open court to itemise all the various money transfers he sent to the defendant, as well as several correspondences between the two of them.

Subsequently, the prosecution tendered the mobile phone of the witness in evidence, and it was admitted in evidence as Exhibit B, and the court adjourned the case until April 29, 2022, for cross-examination.

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