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Lukman Gbadegesin

20.05.2023 Featured Lukman Gbadegesin Kept N200m To Lobby for Alaafin but Won’t Settle N48m Indebtedness to ‘Friend’

Published 20th May, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye

The wicked borrow, and do not pay back, but the righteous are generous and keep giving. — Psalms 37: 21

Imagine having to offer a new friend a great deal of help. Now, imagine that new friend using your help to harm you with great risk. This is exactly what Madam Omosalewa Akinleye, a Nigerian living in the United Kingdom, has had to deal with since 2021.

Akinleye met Lukman Gbadegesin, an Oyo prince and a candidate for the revered Alaafin stool, on Facebook. The sort of social media networking that brought potential business partners together made Akinleye and Gbadegesin exchange messages in 2017.

A strange request, COVID-19 lockdown help and a thought to return the favour led to a breach of trust that has proven detrimental to Akinleye’s life in just over four years.

READ MORE: Lukman Gbadegesin Is One of the Favourites To Become Alaafin of Oyo. But He Has a Multimillion Naira ‘Fraud’ Stain

FACEBOOK ACQUAINTANCE

Lukman Gbadegesin's Facebook Homepage.
Lukman Gbadegesin’s Facebook Homepage. PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook Screenshot

“I have never worked for, or with, Lukman Gbadegesin. I met him on Facebook in 2017; the messages are still on my iPhone. I had not met him in person at the time. We had had a couple of conversations from time to time. Later on, he told me that he wanted to purchase flesh from 40 different bodies. I found his request strange and blocked him,” Akinleye told FIJ on May 4.

“During the COVID-19 period, when flights could only arrive at the airport in Abuja, I was told that my mother was very ill. As I planned to return to Nigeria, I remembered him and informed him that I knew no one in Abuja and I had to return to Nigeria soon. He gave me his phone number and told me that there was no problem.

“Prince Gbadegesin helped me with someone who attended to me as I landed in Nigeria at night. The next morning I could get a ticket to fly to Lagos. I never laid my eyes on Prince Gbadegesin throughout this period. The year was 2020. When I got to Ibadan, I reached out to him to thank him for his help and he said ‘no problem’. We communicated through chats.

“A short while later, Gbadegesin called me to tell me that he had a problem. He told me that he was unable to move ahead with his business in Kano because he lacked funds. He told me that he had spent billions of naira already and the Nigerian government expected him to make some progress before they could pay him. I told him that I had no such funds with me. Gbadegesin told me that he wouldn’t mind if I could find someone who could lend him the money and he would back up his borrowing with official documents related to his business.”

Akinleye told FIJ that Gbadegesin seemed to be honest about his lack of business funds at that time.

Her concern led her to go out of her way to contact another helper.

THE FIRST BANK LOAN

Gbadegesin
Gbadegesin. PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook

Akinleye did know someone who could help Gbadegesin with the funds he wanted, but they needed to trust his business and ability to repay the loan.

Gbadegesin told Akinleye that he wanted at least a N20 million bank loan but the bank manager they approached insisted on the presentation of valuable assets as collateral.

“I then told Gbadegesin that my elder brother, Prince Adetunji, was a manager at First Bank in Ibadan, that I could connect them so that they could talk. Uncle Lukman thanked me and travelled from Abuja to Ibadan; that was when I saw him for the first time,” she said.

“When we got to First Bank, we met with Uncle Adetunji. Uncle Adetunji asked him what assets he had and where he had them. Uncle Lukman responded and presented some papers and pictures for his business. Uncle Adetunji told him that he could not obtain a loan from the Ibadan bank with collaterals in Abuja or elsewhere. He said that he only needed three months to work with the loan, and suggested that I collect the loan on his behalf.

“Uncle Lukman pleaded with me to take the loan on his behalf but I was hesitant. I told him that I would like to visit his business location. Uncle Lukman didn’t take me there, I used my own money to go to Kano to inspect his business location. I saw it all and was convinced. I returned to Ibadan and showed Uncle Adetunji the pictures I took of the place and told him what the workers at the site told me. Satisfied, Uncle Adetunji allowed us to take a N20 million loan.”

Adetunji had not responded to FIJ’s messages as of the time of filing this report.

FIJ, however, saw cheques signed by Gbadegesin to offset some of the loans he took. These cheques had a story of their own.

READ MORE: Real Reasons Oyo Gov’t Rejected the Candidate of Atiku, Oyomesi for Alaafin

GBADEGESIN’S DEFAULT, AKINLEYE’S HEADACHE

“Three months later, Uncle Gbadegesin did not pay back as he had promised,” Akinleye told FIJ.

“The loan started accumulating interest and I got into serious trouble for this. I had to start using the money I didn’t even have to pay the piling interest from the loan. Uncle Lukman started telling lies until the loan became N48 million. I begged and prayed until Uncle Lukman said that he had prepared three cheques to pay his debt to the bank. He sent the cheques from Abuja and I went to the bank at Challenge, Ibadan, to cash them.

“Uncle Lukman used a WEMA Bank cheque and we were using a First Bank branch. He wrote N15 million, N15 million and N18 million cheques. We couldn’t cash those cheques. When we called Uncle Lukman, he then said that we shouldn’t bother with the cheque anymore; he said that he was going to send the money from his bank account directly. Uncle Lukman spoke with Uncle Adetunji on the phone for the last time that day. He stopped answering calls from Uncle Adetunji.”

WEMA Bank cheques Gbadegesin sent to Akinleye in 2021.
WEMA Bank cheques Gbadegesin sent to Akinleye in 2021.

First Bank sent messages of Gbadegesin’s bad debt to him and Akinleye too.

Akinleye told FIJ that the bank officials eventually came to take a look at her shop and house for valuation. She was about to lose her properties to the bank as collateral.

“I pleaded and pleaded. I had to beg around until it got to Gbadegesin and he answered calls once more. He told us that his money had been previously stuck but he finally got his money out. Gbadegesin told us that he had billions frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and he had to liaise with the EFCC before it could release his money. I asked why his company couldn’t pay the outstanding loan, a company that was dealing with over N1 billion in projects?

“We still couldn’t pay the loan. Uncle Lukman continued to claim that he had his money but he failed to repay the loan. I eventually returned to London to be with my children. I heard that when people spoke about the issue, Uncle Lukman told them that I helped him out with something and he would settle me when he was ready. He didn’t even care about what I was going through. The bank had been on my neck so much that I sold almost all my assets just for the interest on Gbadegesin’s loan. There was nothing left with me.”

THE EFCC PETITION

In her bid to recover all her loses, Akinleye wrote a petition against Gbadegesin to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on September 20, 2022.

FIJ obtained the petition sent to the EFCC. The EFCC also produced a petition receipt on September 21.

Petition against Gbadegesin.
Petition against Gbadegesin.
Petition receipt.
Petition receipt.

FIJ sent messages, including an official email, to the EFCC to know the state of the petition against Gbadegesin, but even though it finally acknowledged the email after eight days, the commission only said FIJ’s request had been assigned to its Wuse office in Abuja.

READ ALSO: CONNECTING THE DOTS: Tinubu Using AlphaBeta to Pay His Son Seyi Millions

N200 MILLION FOR ALAAFIN CONTEST BUT NO MONEY FROM SIGNED CHEQUES

Akinleye told FIJ that she opened a bank account with WEMA Bank and tried to cash the WEMA cheques Gbadegesin had sent. WEMA Bank couldn’t cash the cheque.

“Uncle Lukman had blocked his bank account from Abuja. I had people go to Abuja and they returned to let me know that there was no money in the bank account linked to the cheque. He continued with the lies,” Akinleye told FIJ.

“We eventually had to go to the police in Abuja. When we got there, Uncle Lukman told them that he never said that he wouldn’t pay the money. He said that almost N200 million was in his bank account and he wanted to prepare his proof of kingship [in the upcoming Alaafin selection]. Uncle Gbadegesin said that the kingship process would take so much money and he wanted to see it through first.

“Those who intervened told him to pay the money he owed since it was affecting me at that time. He paid only N20 million. As soon as the money got into my bank account the bank hijacked the money. The same thing happened to another N3 million sent to my bank account. I didn’t even have N10 to hold on to. Uncle Lukman said nothing about this.”

Akinleye told FIJ that Gbadegesin failed to compensate her for all her loses. She had sold her own assets to attend to the debt originally incurred by the N20 million loan.

“Uncle Lukman has not paid the remaining amount he owes me till today. I am not old yet, but I am the one taking care of my parents. This situation has given me high blood pressure. I only tried to help him out and I am seriously hurt now. I need the exact amount from the initial cheques, N48 million, so the balance is N25 million,” Akinleye said.

“Imagine if I had used all of that money to work since then, I wonder how much gain I would have made. But look at how my work is almost ruined and Uncle Lukman is living fine. He can conveniently pay his children’s tuition and he can use about N200 million to contest a kingmaking process. He is taking all these millions to Oyo to bribe them so that he can become Alaafin but he cannot remember that he owes someone some money?”

On May 9, FIJ contacted Gbadegesin for his response to Akinleye, but he had not responded as of press time on Saturday. However, FIJ can confirm that three days after, he ran to pay the woman N9,200,000, still leaving a balance of N15,800,000.

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Published 20th May, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye

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