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Posted by By Juliana Francis on 2007/06/27 | Views: 1082 |


A 46-year-old man, who has been fooling and swindling people, by posing as the last son of South African cleric, Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu, is now in the net of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).

•Duped man N68m in land acquisition scam

A 46-year-old man, who has been fooling and swindling people, by posing as the last son of South African cleric, Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu, is now in the net of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).

The fraudster, who has been parading himself as Dr. Tutu, had been identified by EFCC operatives as Dr. Lewis Amitaye. He was said to have duped one Amadi Chukwuma of N68million. The victim, a property consultant, was said to have paid the money, believing he was dealing with a man who was genuinely keen on acquiring 10 acres of land on lease for 50 years, which he would use for farming.

The operatives are, however, still hunting for those who allegedly assisted Amitaye in the crime. They are Tokunbo Williams, Austin, Richards and Reverend Paul Martins.

Amitaye was held when he came to collect more money from Chukwuma, unaware that the scales had fallen off the eyes of his victim. It was learnt that Chukwuma smelt a rat when the swindler refused to make available to him documents showing the transactions. He immediately set a trap for the suspect and notified policemen at the Sabo Division in the Yaba area of Lagos of his activities. Greedy to get his hands on more money, Amitaye walked into the waiting hands of policemen and was later handed over to the EFCC for further investigations.

The victim met Amitaye in December 2006, through one Reverend Paul Martins, a Swiss national living in France. The Reverend was said to have told Chukwuma that he desperately needed to acquire at least 10 acres of land for farming purposes. He further dragged Chukwuma into his web of deceit when he told him that he would lease the land for 50 years.

Chukwuma felt it was a deal too good to be true. After thinking about it for a while, he decided to brush it aside. Two weeks after the victim had convinced himself that Martins was not real, the man called. He told Chukwuma that he would send two Ghanaians, Austin and Richards, to inspect the land, conduct soil tests and assess the environment.

After the inspection, agreement was reached by both parties over the lease and N75million was accepted and the deal was sealed. But after a long silence, Martin called to say he would send his representatives to facilitate the transactions since it involved much money. It was at this point that Amitaye walked into the life of Chukwuma.

Amitaye was said to have boasted to the victim that he was the last son of Desmond Tutu. And Chukwuma bought the tale because he noticed a slight resemblance between the swindler and Desmond Tutu of South Africa. He discarded his earlier suspicion and lowered his guard, leaving the enemy a vulnerable part to hit.

Amitaye told him that Martins had sent the money to World Financial Organisation and that for him to get the money, there were some forms that needed to be filled before the money could be paid. He was said to have asked his prey to pay N4 million for certificate of insurance, N4.5million for certificate of ownership, N6million for certificate of delivery, N10 million for certificate of membership, N10 million for certificate of oath, N2.5million for certificate of release, N3million for certificate of origin, N8 million for golden tally certificate, N2million for bank charges and N5million for EFCC clearance certificate.
Chukwuma paid cash using ABC and Chisco Transport companies’ courier services. While milking Chukwuma, the fraudsters also dragged into their net, the Ozuobor Akpo community in Rivers State, where the victim hailed from. The community was made to cough out N13million, which they paid to Amitaye.

Amitaye refused to take Chukwuma to the office of the supposedly World Financial Organization for verification and confirmation of the payment made by Martin. Intent on collecting more money from his victim, Amitaye asked his victim to sponsor his trips to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to collect Chukwuma’s files and certificates from one of his staffers called Alhaji Fauruk. He collected N6.1million for the trip. He was also paid N8.1million for another trip to London to meet with Martins.

On his return, Chukwuma demanded a copy of a signed agreement and other documents, but Amitaye declined. He explained to Chukwuma that all documents relating to the transactions would be delivered by an investment fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It was when Amitaye asked his victim to cough out N150, 000 for the investment fund at the CBN that Chukwuma began to suspect foul play.

He introduced Chukwuma to one Tokunbo Williams, who he claimed was the director of treasury, CBN. Chukwuma carried out a personal investigation and soon discovered that the said Williams was a fraudster. He alerted the police.
A trap was set for the suspect with the help of the police at Sabo. He was called by Chukwuma to collect some money he had earlier demanded. The suspect rushed to meet Chukwuma and soon fell into the police net.

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown