A former councillor in the Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State, Opeyemi Adeojo, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Adeojo was identified as the leader of a car theft syndicate notorious for stealing vehicles from dealers by pretending as genuine buyers.
The EFCC said it had been on the trail of members of the syndicate after a series of petitions against his gang’s criminal activities were treated by the Ibadan zonal office of the commission.
No fewer than three cases of car theft were established against the syndicate, with all the vehicles involved recovered and kept in the commission’s custody in Ibadan.
Investigations revealed that the gang was using similar tricks to dispossess the dealers of their vehicles.
According to the EFCC, Adeojo often pretend to be a medical doctor, adopting different names and institutions as his place of work to appear responsible and create a false sense of confidence to penetrate the victims.
One of the cases involved a Toyota Avensis wagon car, with Adeojo allegedly claiming to be one Dr Gboyega Omojola of the University College Hospital, Ibadan.
The case was reported to the Ibadan office of the EFCC on March 23, 2019, by Tunde Adejuwon, an Ibadan-based car dealer.
According to the petitioner, ‘Dr Omojola’ had come in company with one Babatunde Oni, his supposed driver, to his car mart to negotiate the price of the car and later agreed to pay N2m for it.
After the agreement, ‘Dr Omojola’ issued a Skye Bank cheque for N2m in favour of the dealer and ordered his ‘driver’ to pay it into his Zenith Bank account at Bodija.
Oni later came with a copy of the deposit teller.
It was later discovered that the payment was not approved as the payer used a cloned cheque for the transaction.
Unfortunately, the decline did not come until after the gang had escaped with the vehicle.
A similar scenario also played out in a petition by one Amos Arole Oloja, also an Ibadan-based car dealer.
Oloja alleged that the duo drove to his car stand in a Honda CRV to price a Toyota Sienna and agreed to pay N2.2m for the vehicle.
This time, Adeojo claimed to be Dr Odumodu, also of the UCH, Ibadan, while his ‘driver’ gave his name as Kayode.
‘Dr Odumodu’ issued a Standard Chartered Bank cheque for the agreed sum and directed his ‘driver’ to go with the dealer to lodge the cheque in his account domiciled in First Bank, Iwo Road branch.
The cheque could, however, not be confirmed as the account had the name of Akinjide Sefiu Odusanya.
On hearing the news, Adeojo pretended to be surprised and left with the SUV with the promise to go and bring another cheque to pay for the car, while leaving Oni behind.
Oni had pretended to be sick all the while and took advantage of the moment the dealer went to return a borrowed battery to his colleague to strike.
Before the dealer’s return, Oni had made away with the car.
The two were also linked with another theft involving a Toyota Matrix car in Iwo, Osun State.