My Fateful Journey to Nigeria
Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Khan
It was just a matter of chance that I had to travel to that distant land. I observed there scenes similar to the legacy of the colonial rulers; the haves and have-nots.
The colonial masters favoured a certain segment of the community which accepted their way of living and civilization. I was hurt to find two distinct classes of society-one class living in posh villas with all worldly comforts and the others living in low-roofed smoky huts, just earning that much as to keep them alive.
had been to
My compliments go to the Muslim Community that hosted me during my stay in Ikeja and took good care of me. I just felt at home with them and enjoyed their hospitality that will be remembered forever. Their respect and affection for a Muslim brother was supreme.
story begins with a pleasant idea of partnership with a Nigerian Muslim who
wrote a letter to me on
wrote, ”I am Malam Sheikh Ahmed, Deputy Chief Accountant in NNPC [Nigerian
National Petroleum Company]. I along with my Chief Accountant have decided to
resign from civil service and start business in
you agree with our proposal, please send your bank particulars. Please keep this
strictly confidential. All correspondence shall be by fax. The fax number is
had a little knowledge about
fax message was received on
I was asked to fax the copy of the remittance advice to fax # 234-1-4924212 and advised to use only the same number in future. They wrote,
“You being the beneficiary of this fund have to pay such charges levies and fees as you will be called upon to remit to various off-shore accounts. Rest assured that you would be compensated later. We do not want to raise suspicion by paying from here.”
After that he sent fax messages for certain payments from time to time. He had marvelous convincing power and the urgency for those payments so meticulously fabricated that there seemed not a grain of doubt. That evil genius extorted US$51,381.00 through bank remittances.
asked me to reach
14-3-1998 he asked me to send five fancy wrist watches: two for ladies and 3 for
gents to be offered to the staff of the then Governor, CBN Chief Paul Ogwuma,
for helping release the fund
. Here is
where the criminal made a big mistake. He provided his wife's address for
the dispatch of those watches. That address helped me track him down in
Ikeja-Lagos, and discover his real name - Gerald
a period of silence he sent an e-mail, in June 2000 to proceed to
MY DECISION TO GO TO NIGERIA
When the scammer lost contact with me for quite some time, and there was no response to my calls and email messages, I got suspicious and visited the Director General (Africa) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs located in Islamabad.
After hearing my story, he advised me to visit Abuja and forward a petition through our High-Commission.
On June 25th, 2001, I traveled to Abuja and submitted my petition to the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, requesting him to forward it to the Nigerian authorities and Special Fraud Unit in Abuja. In turn, he advised me to go see the scammer in an effort to reach an amicable agreement. He stated that he would only file the petition with Nigerian authorities if the scammer and I failed to reach an agreement.
MY ORDEAL IN NIGERIA
When I visited the house (by following the address Given to me for the dispatch of watches through courier) of Mr. Gerald, his wife came down out of the flat and out of the main gate to find out who I was and where I came from.
She admitting that she was the wife of Mr. Gerald Kanu, and after I told her who I am, she ran back to her flat and told her husband to flee. Then she came back down to the taxi-cab where I was waiting and threatened to have me eliminated [assassinated] if I did not leave Nigeria immediately.
I was a sick old man. I made the trip to Nigerian against medical advice in hopes of recovering my money for the last days of my life. I was directed by my High Commissioner at Abuja to go to see that criminal for an amicable agreement, without any police protection, and that proved to be a hazardous undertaking.
Having been threatened with assassination and warned to leave Nigerian immediately, I could not contact my High Commissioner and had to run for my life. I took the threat very seriously.
Some God-fearing Nigerian Muslims gave me refuge and escorted me safely to the airport for my departure to Pakistan. The stress involved in trying to regain my losses aggravated my illness, which in turn ran up further expenses that cut into my retirement fund.
Remittances with transfer charges, Communication (Phone, Fax, Internet charges),
Gifts, Two Voyages to London along with related travel expenses: (Boarding,
lodging and transport).
complaint was lodged with SFU-ABUJA, through High Commission of Pakistan, on
June 29, 2001. It was addressed to CSP Sotonye LeRoy Wakama. No update has been
made available to me, directly or through my embassy, as the officer lost
contact with me after September 21, 2001.
Without any doubt this complaint should attract the attention of the Nigeria Police. Whatever is in their power to ensure that I play within the Nigeria Legal System concerning this fraud?
MUHAMMAD IQBAL KHAN