When 55-year-old Adenike Gbadamosi, a United States (US) citizen, met Otunba Abayomi Hussein on Facebook, little did she know that he was on a mission to defraud her of her hard-earned money, running into N100 million. According to Gbadamosi, a single mother of four, Hussein had contacted her on Facebook Messenger in 2016, claiming that they had met when she last visited Nigeria in 2014 and that he saw her on his Facebook list of ‘people you may know’.
Hussein, aged 52, had introduced himself to Gbadamosi, as an established businessman in Nigeria. Not suspecting the possibility of him being a fraudster, she had accepted Hussein’s friend request and even exchanged phone numbers with him. Also claiming to be single, Hussein had shortly after contacting Gbadamosi, established friendship via frequent telephone conversation, professed love to her, even promised to go on the life long journey of marriage with her. Excited by the love advance, Gbadamosi had gone all out to open up to Hussein on her long-time health challenge.
“I was having this terrible stomach pain that I have been living with for some years. The pain had defied orthodox medicine. When he started sounding so caring, I had to open up to him”, she said. Hussein saw the health challenge as a goldmine, as he allegedly arranged with an herbalist, simply identified as Ajana and a Muslim cleric in Nigeria, both of whom he told the victim, would give a lasting solution to her health ordeal.
The suspect successfully talked the victim into parting with an initial sum of N20 million, he alleged the herbalist and the cleric would be needing to procure a camel, horse and other things to perform special prayers for her healing. Gbadamosi said that the suspect even talked her into investing in real estate, as she had indicated interest to own a house in Badagry town. She alleged that she had invested close to N30 million in building projects Hussein had been handling for her, only to later discover that the pictures of the building Hussein was sending to her were not hers.
Gbadamosi, however, became aware of the tactics of the supposed fraudster she was dealing with after she had given him all her savings and had nothing else. The victim, therefore, refused borrowing to send money to Hussein and even called it quits with the said relationship. On her decision to call off the relationship, she alleged that Hussein had threatened to expose her nude pictures and even kill her and her children. For fear of the unknown, Gbadamosi chose not to visit Nigeria all through 2018, not until she confided in a friend in the US, who introduced her to Ayole Isiaka, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), in Nigeria, attached to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.
Briefed on the matter, ASP Isiaka had alerted the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Charge of the Zone 2 Police Command, AIG, Lawal Shehu, of the supposed scam. The Lagos-born Gbadamosi was invited to make formal complaint on the matter. She visited Nigeria recently and told The Nigerian Xpress her side of the story. Looking perplexed, she said: “I have lived in the US for 29 years, and I am a citizen of the US. Before my visit to Nigeria now, I last visited the country in 2014. However, sometime in 2016, Otunba Abayomi Hussein called me on Facebook messenger. We spoke for a while and I asked him how he got to know me. He said we met at Ajah the last time I visited Nigeria in 2014.
“While we were discussing, he noticed I was sounding low and he asked what was wrong with me. I told him I had stomach pain. We just talked about the stomach pain briefly and that was it. We later exchanged phone contact and kept in touch from time to time. “He was very caring and we just bonded. I never met him one on one, but we just became fond of each other via telephone calls and chats. He asked me to be his lover and I accepted based on the fact that he is from my mother’s place in Abeokuta, Ogun State. We made love via video call and Skype, and I even sent him nude pictures of me when he requested for same, not knowing he would later use them against me.
“To even test his credibility, I had at a time told him I was broke and did not have money. He sent me a hundred dollars from Nigeria and just that gesture endeared him further to me. I thought of him as a sincere and honest man. When we even discuss and I tell him stories of men, who scam women online, he would always curse such men and their unborn generations. It was at this point that I opened up on my health challenge. I had this stomach pain I have had for years and I have travelled to other advanced countries in search of a medical solution but to no avail. When I told Hussein about my challenge, he advised me to take a traditional approach, which I agreed with him. He connected me to an herbalist and a Muslim cleric. The duo said there were special prayers and sacrifices they would be carrying out. They said they would be using camel, horse, goat and other items they mentioned. They asked me at different times to send them money and I spent close to N20 million”.
Asked why she never suspected foul play, the victim said it was possible Hussein hypnotised her. She continued: “I really did not know what I was doing, as whenever they asked for money, I will always send. I even told Hussein that I would like to have a landed property at Badagry, in Lagos and he snapped and showed me some that were for sale for N32 million. I sent money to him to buy the houses and even sent extra cash to renovate and do interlocking. I bought high quality furniture and chandelier lights and fans from the US, and sent them to Nigeria to be used in the house but I have just discovered that he did not buy any house and all the furniture I sent, he sold off. He had even requested for my gold necklace, saying there is a prayer that will be made on it, using sand from my mother’s burial ground, which I accepted and sent to him. He never returned the necklace. I sustained an injury in my place of work in the US, I was paid $30,000, I sent all of it to Hussein.
“This extortion continued till 2017. But in 2018, it was like a veil was removed from my eyes. I told him I was not going to send him money when he requested. He told me he would publicise nude pictures of me on the Internet if I backed out. He even threatened to kill me and my children. Based on his threat, I made up my mind not to return to Nigeria. But when I confided in a friend, she told me there was a need to expose him; she linked me with a police officer in Nigeria and that was how he was arrested.”
Investigations revealed that the name ‘Otunba Abayomi Hussein’ as used on Facebook was not the real name of the suspect. His real name was given as Abayomi Oseni. It was also revealed that the suspect belonged to an organised syndicate, where he is allegedly the ring leader. Elder brother to the suspect, Alhaji Gbolahan Oseni, is alleged to be a part of the said syndicate. A police source that spoke on the arrest of the suspect said: “Hussein, as he is known on Facebook, belongs to a syndicate. They target single elderly women, who are wealthy. They pretend to love them and they swindle them of money, running into millions of naira.
“From our investigation, they have been doing this for a long time and many women have fallen prey. Gbadamosi is just lucky that the suspect was arrested, as some of them even leave the country after a successful deal.” On what she wants, Gbadamosi said: “I want the police to help me recover all the money I gave him. This man has defrauded me of close to N100 million and has even threatened to kill me. I, however, thank the AIG, Zone 2 for the prompt arrest of the suspect. I also thank Lanre Adeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, for his commitment to the matter, and Ayole Isiaka, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, for encouraging me to open up and involve the police in my ordeal.”
While encouraging other women, who may have been preyed on by the suspect or any member of the syndicate on Facebook to come forward, Gbadamosi said: “I want women to learn from my experience, and for those who may have been scammed, I want them to find their voices. They should not be ashamed or afraid; they should come out and speak. It is their hard-earned money and no fraudster should be allowed to take advantage of them. “I must say that the Nigeria Police Force surprised me. The image we have of them abroad is far different from what I experienced; they are dutiful, kind and thorough in their job, I can attest to that fact. Some of the people I told about the matter said the police would mock me for being foolish, but here I am, they are the ones encouraging me. I sincerely appreciate the Police. I also believe now that Hussein has been arrested; the police will ensure that I recover my money and also see the matter to a logical conclusion.”
You want to share a story with us? You want to advertise? You need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp – +234 803 3018 881