The Oyo State Police Command yesterday paraded a gang of highly fetish 419 syndicate which specialised in defrauding unsuspecting citizens of huge sums of money.
They allegedly deceived their victims by claiming to cure their various ailments.
The breakthrough was made by the Command’s anti-Kidnapping Squad who discovered the gang’s shrines at Baale-Ayo, Asejire and Balogun village off Eleyele/Ido road as well as two poultry farms each of which costs 50 million naira while the cummulative value of their illegal services is over 800 million naira.
Oyo State Police Commissioner, Muhammed Katsina parading suspected fraudsters arrested yesterday in Ibadan. On display are their juju costumes which the Police discovered in the building that harbours their shrines. Photo: Dare Fasube
The suspects; Sherifat Badamosi, 48, who played the role of the witch; Samsondeen Abiola, 42, a photographer whose role was to lure rich victims to their trap; Oriyomi Adebayo , 41, played the role of a spy, Alhaji Akeem Azeez Olayode, 37, leader of the gang and Ayankule Ayanlowo, 43, played the role of a fake herbalist.
According to Azeez Olayode, who admitted to be a ‘419’. He said:
“I was a Fuji musician and my stage name is Santana, I was duped and those who duped me told me to become a fraudster in a bid to retrieve my money and that was how I started.
I started 6 years ago, I don’t know those people we dupe personally, I am usually linked up when there is any job. They call me when they have customers so that we can work together.
I help them in blending leaves for concoction. When someone who has problem comes to the Babalawo for diabetes, stroke or other ailments, the man whom we work together has juju, he will cure the diabetes or any other ailment they bring, when the problem is cured, we ask the person to pay a certain amount.
The Babalawo is not genuine, he is a fake Babalawo. I can say I have duped like 10 people, the first person paid 30 million naira to cure diabetes, he paid in batches like 5,7,8 million. There was one that had injury in the leg which was not healing up and he paid 15 million naira”.
Another suspect, Ayankunle Ayanlowo, who admitted to be a fake herbalist said, “I know how to make concoction, I get connected through Azeez Olayode to the clients and they pay me 500,000 naira per operation, I don’t have a car but I have a house”.
For the photographer, Mr Samsondeen, ” I met Mr Olayode at Options, a club very close to officers mess, I am a photographer, I take photographs at options and that was how I got his contact. When his child was doing Islamic graduation I did three albums for him so I see him as a customer. When the Police came to my house that night, they asked if I was the photographer they called on phone and I was told to follow them. I move around, I don’t have a shop, I am even supposed to be in Ilorin presently” he said.
Among the items recovered from the syndicate are three assorted cars, a toyota venza saloon car which costs 4.8 million naira, 4matic mercedes benz jeep which costs 6 million naira, honda crosstour saloon car which 3.5 million naira and assorted criminal charms.
According to Police Commissioner Mohammad Musa Katsina, “this place is a place where many victims have visited and all of them came here but left this environment in bruises. The gentleman (Azeez Olayode) who spoke with you is the leader of this hypnotising syndicate that whenever you are brought here, they do everything to diminish your sense or any sense in you and as result they subdue you to the point of parting with anything that is valuable. He met an octogenarian who is in Ibadan and dispossessed him of the sum of 30 million naira. Somebody living in the United States of America who came to this place was also unfortunate enough to have fallen into their trap, he did not leave their trap until they defrauded him the sum of 20 million naira, they have duped many people here and today we are here and has I did tell you I have the capacity and well withal to deal with them to chase them wherever they are” he said.
On behalf of the people of Oloya village, the youth leader however expressed his gratitude and appreciated the efforts of the Police to save them from this menace saying all efforts made by them have been abortive”.