40-year-old man, Goodluck Onyewenyi, pictured above, has been arrested by the Abuja police command for allegedly using the pictures and medical reports of renal failure patients to raise N4.7 million from members of the public which he then diverted for himself.
Parading the suspect before newsmen, the FCT police commissioner, Bala Ciroma, said the suspect had written letters to rich Nigerians asking for their financial support for patients needing kidney transplant. Ciroma said the suspect also used the pictures of a family friend who died from the disease in 2014.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed that the suspect used the names of patients identified to be suffering from kidney failure to solicit for financial assistance, which he converted to his personal use. The following have been recovered from the suspect as exhibits: pictures of patients undergoing dialysis, copies of letters for financial assistance and bank documents. Investigation is ongoing.” the police boss said
An elder brother of one of the suspect’s victims, Abraham Onyeke, said his brother Joshua suffered from renal failure for many years and that when he met with Onnyewenyi, he advised him to publicly solicit for funds to get Joshua a transplant. Onyeke said he gave the suspect N2,000 to post the letters of assistance but he turned around to convert the account to his personal account with the money generated.
“Because of the nature of my job as a banker, I asked him to assist me to post the letters; so, he got the medical report, Joshua’s pictures and other details, took the envelopes home and went behind to change the name through a newspaper publication. He went to the bank, swore to an affidavit, changed his name, got a national identity card and opened an account. He sent the letters soliciting for money to over 200 persons and money started coming into the Zenith Bank account he opened. He got about N4.7m.
“When we got the report through some philanthropists who came to Wuse to contribute to the cause, we investigated and got him, but he said he was working in Lagos. We then asked him to transfer the money to us but he refused.
“So, we blocked the account through a court order, but he quickly went to Suleija, Niger State, and opened an account with UBA there. The police got an order to freeze the account and they nabbed him in Dutse, Makaranta, Kubwa. As it is now, Joshua is still suffering from renal failure and we need Nigerians to come to his aid.” Onyeke said
Speaking to newsmen, Onyewenyi said he collected donations from wellmeaning Nigerians for the patients but he did that in collaboration with an NGO that has since gone underground. He added that he was in the process of selling his car so he can return the money.
“It is very unfortunate; it is not intentional but the NGO is not available now; that is why I’m taking the blame for everything. I and the family have reached an agreement to sell my car, but I am surprised to find myself here at the police command. We are trying to settle the matter,” he claimed.
The FCT police say further investigations is being caried out on the matter.