“I don’t know how it happened. I can’t remember how they did it, I only know that I was going to school, then by morning, I sent the money to the alfa.”
These were the words of Morenike Ajibade (not real name), a 23-year-old student, after losing her mother’s N290,000 to a fraudulent cleric.
Ajibade was on her way to Yaba, Lagos State, on Friday, and had boarded a commercial bus. With her were two passengers, a woman and a man.
She told FIJ that the woman who sat beside the driver wanted to alight from the bus, but the driver prevented her from doing so, claiming she had to share the money she had in a Ghana-must-go bag.
The woman, Ajibade said, was reluctant but later agreed to share the money with the driver, who then insisted she share with everyone in the bus.
“The woman said she stole the money from her boss and was running away, but there was a charm on the money that prevented her from sharing it with anyone,” Ajibade narrated.
“The driver then asked us in the vehicle if we knew any pastor or alfa who could break curses and help us share it. I told them I didn’t know anybody, but the man beside me said he knew one.
“The driver then called the alfa and gave him a fake story about needing his help to break a curse for a land dispute, but the alfa said he was lying, and that we wanted to share money.”
Ajibade told FIJ that when the driver was done, he collected her number and told her to go home and send some money to the alfa, and they would all do same so he could break the curse.
On Saturday morning, Ajibade woke up, picked up her mother’s N20,000 and ATM card and walked over to a PoS merchant to help transfer N270,000 from the card and the cash in her hand to the alfa. She discovered afterwards that she had been deceived.
At 5:47 am on Saturday morning, the alfa had sent a Zenith Bank account number, 2410780310, owned by one Aderomoke Doris Adekola.
“I don’t know how it happened. It was as if they used jazz on me,” Ajibade narrated to FIJ. “I texted the alfa to send his account number, and then I went to the PoS merchant at 6 am. He told me not to tell anyone or I would die.”
Ajibade paid the sum without hesitating.
When FIJ called the alfa, he introduced himself as Chief Ajafa and accused Ajibade of approaching him with the intention of doing money rituals by sacrificing her mother.
Ajafa said he advised her against it and asked that she send the money so he would buy ingredients to do the ritual instead of using her mother.
“I am a herbalist,” Ajafa told FIJ. “She said she was suffering and needed money, so she wanted to use her mother for ritual, and I told her not to do that, as I cannot kill someone. I said she should bring money, and I would do a luck charm for her.”
Ajafa refused to refund the money, claiming he had already bought items for the luck charm and she had to wait for seven days.
After FIJ spoke with him, he sent a text message to Ajibade, accusing her of wanting to use her step-father for ritual.
His message to her and the narration to FIJ did not match.
FIJ called Ajafa again, but this time he rained curses on our reporter and cut the call.
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