By OLUSEGUN ADENIYI
Before I introduce myself, I know you may be surprised that I chose you but I believe it is only a day that people meet and become great friends and business partners. I am Chief Onyeoshi Barawo Gbajue, Special Assistant to the late Deputy General Manager in Charge of Loot Custody at the Central Bank of Nigeria. With due respect I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us.
In April 2007, I was working in my office when I overheard the CBN Governor whispering to my boss to take custody of some sacks of money which turned out to be $15 million in cash. He said the money was from a State Governor who was trying to bribe the chairman of the anti-corruption agency. To confirm that this letter is genuine, you can just google the name James Ibori and $15 Million. If you change the name to Nuhu Ribadu or Andy Uba or Chibuike Achigbu and add $15 million after it, you will understand that I am telling the truth and you can trust me. My boss subsequently put the money in a secret account in a commercial bank but unknown to him, I was able to photocopy the document so I also know the account details.
In June this year, my boss died in a plane crash on his way to Lagos (please google Dana Airlines) and since he did not reveal the details of the account to anybody, the bank has searched in vain for the money. To avoid another scandal like the fuel subsidy payment (you can google that one too), the federal government decided that since Nigerians might not believe if they say the $15 million is missing, an idea was struck for the EFCC to file an application in court for forfeiture of the money. That way, it would just be a matter of book keeping at the CBN.
Meanwhile, I know where the $15 Million is deposited. The plan now is to transfer this money to a foreign account as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit yourself to this great business opportunity. But this is urgent as our banking law and guideline in this country stipulates that if any money that is above $10 million remained unclaimed after six years, the money will be forfeited to the federal government and transferred to the treasury as unclaimed fund. So by next year April, it would be six years that my late boss put the money there.
I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free. On smooth conclusion, you will be entitled to 40 percent of the total sum while 10 percent will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone bills. Another 10 percent will be set aside to bribe government officials who will stamp some papers while 40 percent will also be for me. Please, keep this as “top secret” as I am still in service and intend to retire after I conclude this deal with you. Please get back to me if you are interested and capable to handle this project while I shall intimate you on what to do when I hear your confirmation and acceptance…
The foregoing of course is a product of my imagination on what is now globally known as “Nigerian scams” to our collective shame as a nation. But I have never ceased to wonder why some people still fall prey to those badly written letters which any sensible reader should be able to discern could only have been a hoax. The reason of course is simple: greed, pure greed. Beyond greed, however, is also the fact that as outlandish as most of the stories may sound, when it comes to corruption, stranger-than-fiction things do happen here. And that is the only way to explain the controversy over the $15 Million that is now a subject of litigation with Delta State Government and some other parties laying claims.
The story began, at least in the public domain, following the arrest of the ex-Delta state governor, Chief James Ibori, in December 2007 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Then Chairman of the commission, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, disclosed at the time that he was offered a bribe of $15 million by the suspect to compromise the investigation. To buttress his point, he said he had deposited the said money at staffers of the apex bank has since confirmed that the loot is indeed with them.
By OLUSEGUN ADENIYI