A suspected fraudster, Chinedu Ezeona, was paraded before journalists on Friday at the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police, Lagos, for allegedly defrauding a woman of N4.9m.
PUNCH Metro had reported on May 9, 2012, that the SFU arrested the suspect and paraded him before journalists for allegedly defrauding a woman of N2.5m after posing as a senior employee of the United States embassy.
Ezeona was later arraigned at a Lagos Magistrate’s Court and granted bail. But he was re-arrested for allegedly defrauding another woman of N4.9m.
One of the victims, who wished to remain anonymous, said Ezeona told her that he was an employee of the US Embassy and offered to assist her in procuring an American Visa.
She said he gave her a US Embassy complimentary card with designation, Senior System Analyst Visa Section, and the name ‘David Obiora Aniekwe’ was written on it.
She said she wanted to procure a visa for the purpose of visit but the suspect told her that she should apply for a student visa as it was easier to get.
She alleged that the suspect collected various sums of money at different times and presented bank tellers as proof.
The victim said she became suspicious of Ezeonna as he continued to give her excuses and demanded more money.
“When the whole thing became too complicated, I asked him to return my money because he kept on extorting me. The suspect later stopped picking up my calls but luckily for me, I had recorded all our conversations and I gave all evidence to the police. I never knew he was a fraudster because he seemed very convincing initially,” she said.
Another victim, Mr. Ben Obi, said Ezeona duped him of N540, 000, which he paid into his bank account.
Obi said, “He said it would cost me $3,500 and he would help procure admission into University of Atlanta. I paid in the naira equivalent, N540, 000 into Ezeonna’s bank accounts. He however asked me for more money and I refused to give him the money. So, we lost contact.
“Months later, I was in Brazil when I read on The PUNCH website that the suspect had been arrested. Surprisingly, it was the same method he used in defrauding others. I immediately came down to SFU to report the case.”
The suspect however denied the allegation, saying he was framed.
He said, “I had a problem with my ex-girlfriend some months ago and she sent her daughter to frame me up by giving me money for visa procurement. I don’t work with the US Embassy and the business card does not belong to me.”
The Commissioner of Police, SFU, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, said Ezeona was a member of a syndicate that specialised in defrauding visa applicants.
Ogunsakin said after Ezeona was arrested and paraded before journalists, many victims had come forward to report how they were duped by him.
He said, “In this recent case, he successfully, with the connivance of Mr. Obioma Agu of Obitex Cosmetic Ventures and one Mr. Sam Ufomadu, duped the victim of N4.9m and also hacked into foreign phone numbers and used them to contact the victim.
“Apart from using a fake US embassy business card, he also drives around in different cars with diplomatic number plates.”