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28.05.2021 Justice A Rider Committed the Fraud. The Uber Driver is the One Kwara Police are Detaining

Published 28th May, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

Joshua Adejumo, an Uber driver, is currently in detention at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Kwara State Police Command after his rider defrauded an electronic outlet of phones worth millions of naira before running away.

Since Joshua’s rider, simply identified as ‘Honourable Olawale’, has not been found, the driver has been illegally kept in police custody as a criminal accomplice since Tuesday. 

According to the information gathered by FIJ, the complainant’s case against Joshua is that he drove the suspected fraudster to Femtech Communications Store along Taiwo Road in Ilorin.

“Can I possibly be an accomplice of the fraud and still wait till night while we were both looking for the rider?” Olawale said while speaking with FIJ about his unfortunate circumstance, shortly before he was kept in custody.

FIJ learnt that the suspected fraudster had entered the store to buy four iphones, deceiving the seller he was the owner of the car driven by Joshua. 

After deceiving them with a fake bank transaction, he told the storekeepers he was briefly going for a meeting while they waited to confirm the transfer on their own end. They gave him the phones on the assumption that his driver was still within their reach. By the time it was late in the evening and he was not seen, the storekeepers finally realized Honorable Olawale had duped them. 

READ ALSO: How Ooni Ogunwusi’s Companies Executed the Biggest Fraud in Nigeria’s Real Estate History — and Got Away With it

Joshua was subsequently arrested in place of his rider and locked in a cell at ‘A’ Division Police Station on Tuesday evening. He was transferred to the CID within the state command headquarters on Friday morning.

Esther, wife of the Uber driver, told FIJ that the owner of Femtech had told the family to bring N1million to track the phones fraudulently acquired from the stores.

The CID, however, has the capacity to track the stolen phones without extorting Joshua’s family.

READ ALSO: Passenger Narrates How Driver She Travelled with Was Kidnapped in Kogi

PARODY OF A FURIOUS INVESTIGATOR

FIJ contacted Ambrose Onah, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, for comments on the case but he was rather aggressive on the phone.

During the first conversation at about 2 pm, he told FIJ that the case had just been presented before him barely five minutes ago. He added that he would not be able to give an informed comment as of that time.

Meanwhile, FIJ learnt the case had been transferred to the CID since 10 10am.

In what seemed like a mistaken attempt, Onah returned FIJ’s call less than five minutes after the first conversation.

This time, he was not directly speaking to the journalist but one of his officers and the detained Joshua.

This one don come up again. Someone is with you and he has called Lagos. Now, Lagos is calling me to brief them,”  he was overheard telling the two of them.

“Have you briefed me before I have to brief a journalist in Lagos? How did you call somebody in Lagos to call me? Who gave them my number They called me and told me everything you [Joshua] have told them, that you have been here since morning.

Then, referring to Joshua, he said: “You have to be careful, this man. If the journalist wants to write anything, let him write. I have not started an  investigation and he’s asking me to brief him.” 

An officer later responded by asking the detainee, “Are you the only one who has relatives?”

After three minutes of being unknowingly on the phone, the police chief realized the journalist was still waiting for a direct response, so he quickly answered, saying:

“I am not the person to brief. If you want to write to heaven, I am not the person to brief you and even if I will brief you, I have to get the facts.

“You are saying he has been there since morning. And so?”

However, FIJ didn’t obtain Onah’s number from the detainee’s family, as speculated by the DCCID. As a matter of fact, FIJ had been in possession of his number since the first week of his resumption at the Kwara State Police Command Headquarters in mid-February.

A woman who identified herself as the customer relations officer at Femtech told FIJ she wasn’t yet aware of the case too. She promised to send the mobile number of the Chief Executive Officer number for comments, but she did not.

Published 28th May, 2021

By Gabriel Ogunjobi

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