The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise), leader of a deadly syndicate of juju scammers that operates from a shrine at Ashipa town, near Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
An EFCC statement said Awise’s arrest followed a petition by a victim, Bright Juliet, who lost N250 million to the syndicate after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said she was introduced to Alaka by Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge.
“What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
Once she contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her only if she pays N16million.
“The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a bureau de change operator”, it said.
According to the statement, “after paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina passed the victim on to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. Juliet revealed that she met Awise at his shrines in Ashipa town and was hypnotised and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
“Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions never improved”.
She consequently petitioned the EFCC.
It said a team from the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Section (FEMS) at EFCC headquarters, on May 21, 2021 arrested both Sani Mohammed and Akinola Bukola Augustina at Egbeda and Abule Egba, respectively, in a sting operation, in Lagos.
Augustina who is currently on administrative bail, later led operatives to the Ashipa Town Shrine of Awise, but the latter escaped arrest having gotten wind of the presence of the commission’s operatives. He was later apprehended.
The statement affirmed that following his arrest, the commission had traced and marked a number of assets linked to Awise, believed to be proceeds of his criminal activities.
The assets include vast land located at Ashipa Town, Abeokuta, Ogun State used as shrine to deceive the complainant to part with her hard-earned resources; a newly renovated filling station named Alaka Oil and Gas located at No.2, Adeneye Street, Oke-Oriya, Ikorodu, Lagos; an uncompleted Event Centre named Alaka Event Centre located at No.2, Adeneye Street, Oke-Oriya, Ikorodu, Lagos; uncompleted blocks of flats located at No.2, Adeneye Street, Oke-Oriya, Ikorodu, Lagos and a newly renovated storey building with boys’ quarters situated at No. 22, PSSDC Road, Magodo Phase 2, Magodo Estate, Lagos.
The commission said the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.