Policemen attached to the Zone 2 Command Monitoring Tactical Unit have apprehended a 43-year-old man, Sylvester Ehiarinmian, for allegedly defrauding his United States-based lover of over $25,000 and property. The suspect claimed to love the victim, Mary Okpe (40), but fraudulently defrauded her of money and property.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Ahmed Iliyasu, who paraded the suspect yesterday at the Zone 2 Command Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos, said Ehiarinmian was arrested following a petition to the command by the victim. According to Iliyasu, the victim, who has a vision of setting up a business in Nigeria, employed the suspect to provide her with security to and from her farm situated in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Ehiarinmian, who is married and has children, however, made love advances at Okpe, promising her marriage which she accepted. She was defrauded.
The AIG added that the suspect was arrested by the Zonal Tactical Unit of the command. When the suspect was eventually ar rested, four Sienna buses, a Toyota Highlander SUV and landed property comprising of a storey building, an undeveloped plot of land, both in Apo area of Abuja and two plots at Wuse area of Abuja, belonging to the victim, were recovered from him. “Also, a Mikano generator, two duplexes in South Africa, $15,000 fraudulently obtained from the victim to procure visa for the victim’s sister, another $10,000 he proposed to purchase carpets for an office they both agreed to operate and N40 million for the establishment of a medical laboratory belonging to the victim are yet to be recovered from the suspect,” Iliyasu said. However, while speaking with journalists, Ehiarinmian denied the allegation of fraud levelled against him.
He said: “I never defrauded her; we were lovers. Most of the things I was alleged to have stolen from her were handed over to me herself. When she heard me discuss my business plans with someone, she offered to assist me with the vehicles and I didn’t even use them because the business has not started. Instead of taking the things back from me, she started embarrassing me. I asked her to take me to court but she refused. She claims that she has a cousin that knows the powers that be and that she will embarrass me. I never converted her property to my names. The only property I have in my name were the ones I bought myself. Her property were in my custody because I was the one managing them for her.” Ehiarinmian claimed that he dated the victim for a year. He said: “I am married but got separated from my wife and my girlfriend (the victim) was also married and has two kids. But she lied to me about it until I discovered not too long ago that she was not even divorced.” Iliyasu, however, warned citizens to be careful of the relationship they have with people and how they advertise their businesses because of fraudsters who are out to defraud unsuspecting victims.