… Complainant alleges fraudulent enrichment against Inspector
By Ifeanyi Okolie
When in 1999, Dickson Utuke, a Nigerian based in Germany visited home and saw his elder sister and her husband, an Inspector of Police, living from hand to mouth, he was shaken to his bone marrows. He quickly took far-reaching decisions aimed at improving their lives.
Part of the decisions included an urgent need to re-locate them from their base in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, to Lagos where they would be able to manage his vast business interests which included importation of cars and other accessories, and live a better life. This, he accomplished and went ahead to engage the in-law in other businesses including, sending huge sums of money for different projects like buildings etc, at home.
Unfortunately, few years later, things started taken a different dimension. Cracks started showing in their business relationship triggering off suspicion and distrust. In fact, the center could no longer hold and the Police Inspector had no option than to resign his Directorship of a thriving company they earlier registered. Their disagreement took a more dastardly dimension after Dickson rushed back home to claim some of his properties only to end up inside a Police cell.
The in-law allegedly wrote a petition to the Police in Lagos alleging that he was owing him a\bout N25m and that was how he found himself inside the dreaded cells in Lagos. Succor, however came his way few days later when detectives that investigated the case passed a verdict of ‘case to answer’ in his favor. In fact, the Police detectives from anti-vice unit of Lagos State Police command ended up saying that the petition was merely a set up against he German-based Nigerian.
Following this relief, and considering the fact that he was unable to recover all the money he invested in his business with the in-law, he proceeded straight to Force Headquarters, Abuja with a petition to the Inspector-General of Police pleading for protection and recovery of his hard-earned investments and money from the Police Inspector serving at the Area F in Lagos. Based on this, Police authorities swiftly dispatched some detectives from IGP monitoring unit to Lagos and they arrested the Inspector. The man at the center of the whole drama, Dickson Utuke narrated his pathetic story to Crime Alert.
I am German Citizen.I am from Umunede, Delta State of Nigeria, I traveled to Germany in the year 1991. In 1999 when I visited, my senior brother who is a school principal asked me to visit my sister who is the only girl in our family, called Caroline. She is married to a police Corporal, David Afam Egbon, from Owa Oluku also in Delta State. So when I got the police barrack, they were leaving in a two- room apartment with their children, a girl and a boy. My sister asked me to help them if there is any way I could. I said okay, because I was already doing business then in Lagos with an old classmate. I asked them at that point if they would like to come over to Lagos because most of my business interests were in Lagos and they quickly accepted. I gave them money, clothes and other provisions I brought from Europe.
The man told me that his transfer to Lagos would cost him some money and he does not have enough to make it possible. I asked how much it will cost and he said N90,000. I was bringingg buses at that point in time. I sold the buses and from it’s proceeds, I gave him the money he requested. Some months later, he called to inform me that his transfer was successful and I arrangeed with a younger brother who is currently living in Austria, to rent a flat for him and my other brother who is in Europe so that when ever we return home, we would have a place to stay.
After they got the house at Amadiya, Lagos, I furnished it for them. I also bought my sister an L300 Bus and David Honda Prelude to effect their movement and gave her money to start business by first getting a shop. When she could not get a shop, I asked her to build one. This was around 2001and 2002. I also gave her money to build the shop at Amadiya where she started selling bags of rice and beans. I also sent down a car for them to use as taxi. I then started the shipment of buses, trucks and some other vehicles.
After a while, I told them that I needed a formal company registration by him for me. So, when the Insp
ector could not get any name, I sent him a German name called Ruhr Merchant. I also gave him the names of my wife and my children and it was incorporated and I started shipment to this young man, in container, truck, buses and trailer. In the beginning, he was returning money back to me after sales. I also made my sister a signatory to my account because I trusted her. I bought many other cars including, Honda Prelude, L300 bus, Prevail, C-Class Mercedes and a Gulf for them.
So we started, and every thing was working out well. I, not only promised to train their children to every level of education but, started paying school fees for one of them. We continued and it got to a time when one of my customers visited me in Europe. I had some financial problems, money were not fort coming from the consignment I sent to Nigeria.
After some time , I called my in- law and I asked him to tell me how much money I have in my account. As at that time, I knew, based on the consignment I sent to him in Nigeria, I should have deposit close to N25m in my account in Nigeria. By then, I had a value of 18 L300 loaded with electronics, two trucks and two containers sent to him and when I requested for my bank statement, he would tell me that the bank manager was on leave and he would return in three months time.
One day, I received this customer from Nigeria in my office in Germany, some thing rang on his phone and it was an SMS and when I inquired what it was, he told me that he just got a credit alert from his bank in Nigeria and that some one just paid two million naira into his account. I asked how is that possible and he told me that there is bank alert system that will update you of any bank transactions and I told him that I have never heard of it before.
So, I took my phone in my office and I called my in-law to know the amount of money I have in my account and at that point in time, the rough estimate of the value of cash in his custody was N15 million. He told me that the bank manager is sick and will be back in three months. I then asked him to send details of all the business we transacted so far including the cash at hand.. He kept on promising to do so without success.
At a stage, he started threatening me saying that he has information that I am very rich in Europe and that he will even be coming over there to know how much money I have there so that we can share it. He openly threatened that I should not come to Nigeria again because if I come, he would kill me. He went further to send messages to my telephone saying that if I want to come back to Nigeria, I should write a will for my three sons and my wife, because he will make sure he dealt with me.
These threats continued. but I defiled them maintaining the facts that I actually brought the couple to Lagos and also to the place at Unity Plaza in Alaba International Market where I arranged that he should be trained on how to help me manage my business.
I defiled these threats and I came back to Nigeria. When I arrived Nigeria, he arranged with his colleagues from the anti vice and I was arrested for allegedly taken N25m from him because I came and posed like a building contractor to the Federal Government of Nigeria and he borrowed the money and since then I have vanished.
Luckily, after their investigation, the Policemen saw that it was a cover up and released me unconditionally. Interestingly, when the Police wanted me to bail myself, I told them that I don’t have any money with me. That my in-law has crippled my business and I am highly indebted in Germany. I have been unable to pay the shipping line that allows me credit facility in Germany.
That my in-law used my money to build a house in his village and send his daughter overseas for studies, that he had also taken over all the landed properties I gave him money to buy for me, that I am also indebted to my landlord at my warehouse in Germany, I’m indebted to the bank and even to personal friends, they saw my plight and bailed me unconditionally.
Ironically, on his part, the Inspector was giving me conditions before he could relinquish all my property and cash he had with him but I vehemently refused to oblige him.
Based on this I then petitioned the Inspector-General of Police who swung into action without delay. So far, I am impressed with what the police is doing. I know I must get justice. In fact, when I get back to Germany, I will tell them that we now have a different police force under Hafiz Ringim I went to this extent because all efforts by members of my family to make our in-law see reason failed as he kept on threatening everybody.