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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Doing 69 with 419

Atoke

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When you met your partner, you had no clue. There was nothing weird about having this special person who was financially comfortable – you needed a break from the long line of leeches you’d had to deal with.

Then you found out; the revelation was shocking initially, but the money was too sweet to let go, so you relaxed. You rationalised it: you’re not part of it, you have not been directly informed that this is what your spouse actually does. In a way, it is kind of cool – all that suspense and living on edge, unsure of what the next day would bring. In a way it reminds you of the life of a secret agent.

You smile; it feels good… to be married to someone who has this deep secret only a select few know about – a core member of the A-team. Spouse To a Secret Agent has a nice ring to it; only what you are, in actuality, is a Spouse to a Fraudster/Drug Mule/ Mob Boss.

In the Netflix award winning TV show, Orange Is The New Black, Piper Chapman was implicated in a drug deal gone wrong. Her lover at the time, Alex Vause, was part of a drug cartel. Money was not an issue and as Piper was spoiled to heaven and back by her love, she was in romantic heaven. Paris today, Helsinki tomorrow, Milan the day after – not once did Piper think to ask “How is my lover able to afford all these luxurious trips?”

Last week, my friend was excitedly telling me about this guy she had just met. He was funny, smart, and RICH! Her problem, however, was that she didn’t know what he did. In all of their conversation and outing, she had been unable to deduce what he did for a living. He seemed to be involved in a lot of ‘business’, and when she asked him about certain specifics, he laughed it off and tactfully avoided the question.

“I am sure he is an Olodu•” {Olodu – someone who dabbles in dubious activities/scam artist)

I responded that nobody did ‘Odu’ anymore. “It is 2015. All the Odu boys of the 90s have cleaned up their act and gone legit.”

“Ehn, then he must be a reformed Olodu then. Something about the guy is just off. He has too much money to be legit. Abeg, I don’t want to marry him and then EFCC will come and bundle him away. You won’t be a widow. You won’t be divorced. Your case would be worse – The Wife of a Convict. Jor, Jor. Jor. He should be going.”

I’ve always wondered what it is like to be married to a fraudster or a drug mule – a criminal in active service. Did spouses know going in? Did they find out in the course of the relationship and find themselves unable to leave? Did they even want to leave? Did they believe they could influence their spouse to go clean? What was it like being in bed with a criminal?

In Mario Puzo’s book – The Godfather, Kay Adams met Michael Corleone in college. She was an American with no incline into the Sicilian code / mob lifestyle. In fairness to her, Michael wasn’t an active member of the bad side of The Family when they met. However, at the point they married, she knew what it meant to be married to Michael Corleone, and she made him promise her that he would clean up his act in 5 years. It didn’t happen. When she couldn’t hack it any more, she asked for a divorce.

I haven’t heard many stories of people who have left their spouses in Nigeria because they were involved in financial scams or part of a drug cartel. Before we even get to the point of leaving a criminal, the first step is the discovery stage. How many people actually like to ask the hard questions? Ignorance of these things gives room for plausible deniability. It also helps you to sleep better at night – very much like an ostrich with its head safely ensconced beneath the sand. At least you can always say you were not aware that your multi-million dollar apartment complex was funded by the proceeds of crime. You didn’t ask. You were not told. Q.E.D.

But here’s the thing: men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t! If your spouse tells you she has a shop in Iponri where she sells gift items. The estimated total turnover is half a million a month, and she has no other apparent source of income – yet, every other week she is flying 1st class to one fancy island or the other, dearly beloved, it is time to ask some hard questions.

There is only so much hiding you can do with the ambiguous term ‘business’. Every high net worth individual can tell you the numbers which make up their worth. Where income source becomes unaccountable and hazy, then you’re dealing with something untoward.

I asked a friend who once dated a fraudster in the late 90s about what it was like to date a Credit Card scam veteran. She explained that she found a way to tell herself that it was a victimless crime, and as such she wasn’t hurting anybody. (The scam involved applying for credit cards under the names of dead children. So they’d take the names off the death registry and apply. I don’t know the details, please don’t ask me.)

In Nigeria, we are not particularly notorious for shaming ill-gotten wealth. We laud and praise anybody who is able to claw their way out of the recesses of poverty – by any means necessary. We are saddened when we read the news of Nigerians who are caught for trafficking drugs, but we don’t exactly condemn the act, because if the project was successful, they would be cruising down our streets in their flashy cars. We would invite them to our fund raising dinners, and introduce them to our friends and relatives as “New guys in town – with fresh Malay money”

An attempt to be the contrary voice questioning the sudden’ wealth acquisition is seen as jealousy or as envy.

So, we brown nose with them, date them, marry them, expect them to spend some of their largesse on us. Then, we pray for them to clean up their act – go legit, or NOT get caught!

Communities and societies are made up of people – the things we accept, and the things we largely speak up against. At the core of it, we need to remember that ignoring it won’t make it go away.

Have a fantastic week ahead. Be positive impact on people around you. Be nice and courteous to everybody – nobody is too little to be told “Thank you” or “Please”. If you’re owing anybody money, give them  a call to explain why you haven’t paid back. Be considerate. Life is short, so don’t keep malice.

Peace, love & celery sticks.

Toodles!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Mimagephotography

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore.Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

75 Comments

  1. Anon

    May 18, 2015 at 9:20 am

    “It is 2015. All the Odu boys of the 90s have cleaned up their act and gone legit.” False. There are still so many of them around. What they do is that they go to “friendly” countries like Iceland, Luxembourg and so on to carry out their scams.

    Most wives know what their husbands do and cover up for them. Do you know that some of these wives are active participants in their husband’s businesses? The wives are just as hard as their husbands if not worse.

    How many of them have gone legit? It’s a false claim. Maybe the legit ones are the ones who end up as politicians in Nigeria. When they have power, they still go there and steal.

    The others who you think are legit, use their current practices as fronts. Take for example, the subsidy scam. A few of them graduated from small time “olodu” to the big time “olodu” of the subsidy scam.

    It’s like they are beholden to that craft for a long time.

    We laud and praise? That’s a wholesome declaration. Rather say “some people” laud and praise…

    Thank God for some of our parents who have brought up their kids to know that money should be earned cleanly.

  2. Ndali

    May 18, 2015 at 9:23 am

    The topic got me…lol!
    Atoke you are so right, Nigerians don’t really care how you get your money, ill-gotten or not,they’ll steadily “kiss ass”
    I’ve been iin this kind of situation before,i didn’t know at first,and When I did, well let’s just saw “I was in love” and my greed took the better part of me I guess. On a second encounter, I tried to make the man start up other businesses,but as usual, the spirit that comes with these things is very stubborn. I have instincts, and I use them well,i saw what was going to happen and walked away without even looking back…

    When I talk to my friends about these things, i usually here.. “I can date a yahoo boy, but I will never marry one” lol. I just laugh cos i’ve been there and I know it’s easier said than done.

  3. anon

    May 18, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Dearest Atoke,
    Nice article. We as Nigerians need to start shaming people with ill-gotten wealth for things to change. Until then, we are only playing the ostrich as you rightly point out.

    Please permit me to share some feedback from my perception of your articles. Been reading you since tay-tay and I hope this helps. Your recent articles, (let me call them during and especially post-Masters era) have taken on a quality that seems more keen on the ‘semantics’ or ‘structure’ of the write -up. This is in contrast to the pre-Masters era where your writing had heart and more of a personalized flair which one could connect with emotionally.
    If you could merge the strengths of these two era,without sacrificing the real you, I think you’ll be headed far beyond the sky.
    Warm wishes and celery sticks!

    • Atoke

      Atoke

      May 18, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Hiya!
      OMG! I read your comment and I was like oh Yesss someone sees my challenge! !!!!! Lol

      First of all, I’m gonna say thank you sooo much for being a long time reader… as in from a time I now call ‘My days of yarning okpaks’. I really appreciate it

      Your comment is spot on with regards the style and structure my work has taken. I’d like to say it is deliberate. I don’t know if this is good or bad; but I find myself more conscious of things like sentence length, sound of the sentence, flow of language, avoiding repetitive words… amongst other things I know that comes with ‘writing properly’.

      It’s hard to find a balance and I am trying to keep my real inner self. Lol Now I find myself pocketing half my crase to produce an article that can stand comfortably on any platform. So it seems I have sold out to the dark side. Plus *whispers* when there is a business of a book involved, one has to think ‘write what people will buy and keep on their bookshelves. If they want to read flackafocka they can get that for free.’
      *sigh*

      Thank you so so much for nudging me this morning. I appreciate it loads and will try and be a little less focused on everything I learned in school. Lol It’s not easy.

    • TA

      May 18, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      @ anon, Thanks. I have been wondering how to point out my observations too but I was at a loss how to express myself. @ Atoke of life, I have been waiting for you to balance out the new and the old you and however long it takes you to get there,we dey kampe. 🙂

    • Atoke

      Atoke

      May 18, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Lol But you know we is cool peoples!

    • b

      May 18, 2015 at 9:59 am

      I agree with you Anon, though I cantwsay whether its pre or post masters but yes, something has definitely changed, Its less personal and not as fun to relate to, Over a year ago, on a monday like this, I would be waiting for BN to release her article. Although, I am a retired blog addict

  4. LE COCO

    May 18, 2015 at 9:37 am

    its disturbing how women dont even bother knowing what their parteners do for a living.. it is a shame..my mother alwayz says, dont follow anybody into jail oo.. forget about the “submissive wife” you do not submit to a man hu is clearly doing the wrong thing.. and as far as shaming wrong doers, i think a lot of us do that.. but in the case of our politicians.. we don shame them tire, but because we arent significant enuff it doesnt matter. the significant institutions tht should be shaming them are the same ones inviting them to church to do thanksgiving.

  5. Anonymous

    May 18, 2015 at 9:39 am

    hello, i care and that’s one of the reason i left the marriage when i found out he is into yahoo yahoo big time. He actually wanted me to cover him up and even join him but that was a big no for me. i zoomed off but out country careless about such.

  6. Scared Homosapien

    May 18, 2015 at 9:43 am

    See eh, some girls don’t even care what their bfs do for a living.
    My friend’s younger sister brought a man home to introduce to her dad, for the purpose of marriage.
    The girl’s dad then asked his daughter what he did for a living and she couldn’t answer, he then turned to the bf and asked him what he did and the guy said ‘I’m into different things’.
    Dad- Like what?
    Bf- Nna forget that thing, i’m a hustler.
    The dad didn’t know when he chased both the guy and the daughter out of the house.

    That’s a good dad, but how many others would have done that, especially when they are sure of the material/financial kick back they will get.
    I sure can’t marry someone who cant define what he does for a living. Mba…I kent!

    • WandererX

      May 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

      #dead# “Nna forget that thing, I’m a hustler”

    • Icey

      May 18, 2015 at 10:28 am

      this got me laffing so hard……”nna forget, I’m a hustler”, biko what are you hustling? Just curious.

    • me

      May 18, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      Your story remind me of my dad’s cousin who was in nursing school at the time. The babe brought back one guy like that, flashy, handsome with swag to meet my dad. After pleasantries where exchanged, the following conversation took place.
      Dad: Nwa m kedu ihe i na alu n’obodo oyibo? ( My child what do you do abroad?)
      Guy: Business
      Dad: What kind of business? What exactly do you deal in?
      Guy: Importation and exportation
      Dad: exportation kwa: what do you export?
      Guy: Daddy ihe m na eme bu na ana m eje eje, na abata abata(in these very words) ( I travel in and out) (looooool!)
      Dad: (getting irritated) Gini bu ana m eje eje na abata abata ( What is I travel in and out) Why re you traveling in and out?
      Guy: Daddy you wont understand
      Dad: (Looses his cool and starts to shout,) you must be an armed robber, oya go and bring your passport let me see, Are you drug trafficking? You think I dont know what you people do
      hahahahahahahahaahhahaha
      All of us rushes out starts to calm dad, dad goes upstairs angrily. Guy and Cousin are embarrassed. We start to apologize,
      Son 1: Guy don’t be angry you know old men, sometimes they are difficult
      Son 2: You know he sent her to nursing school, he wants her to marry a medical doctor
      Son 1: Girl you should have told your man how dad is na
      Guy exits the house amidst profuse apologies
      Son 1: Girl biko wetin your guy dey do?
      Girl: Business
      Son1: Which business?
      Girl: I dont know o he told me, he travels in and out ( O si m na o na eje eje, na abata abata)
      *whole family bursts into laughter*
      Son 1: you re lucky mumsy no dey, better go and find medical doctor o cos that is why they took up your fees to nursing school
      loooool!
      Now Girl is actually married to a medical doctor…

    • Grown Woman

      May 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Hahahaha this was hilarious..our African parents don’t take any nonsense.See how he saved that daughter of his….congrats to her hehe.Im glad parents are taking the initiative of interviewing these men since some girls will just believe anything their told by these men.You better ask the right questions even if it offends the man.Better safe than sorry

    • someone

      May 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      hehehe

    • McMeffy

      September 6, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Loooooool

  7. IfyAn

    May 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Nice article .
    spare me this,why do we say ONLY IN NIGERIA OR NIGERIANS,let stop to specify negative act to Nigerians Or Nigeria.
    Be inform of happening of the World then you will know that Nigerians own is small.

    Visit nairausd.blogspot.com for factors affecting Dollar To Naira exchange

    • Toyin

      May 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Won’t we talk about the one that is closer to home? And just because the world is doing it doesn’t justify it.

      Go to America and commit a crime as a black guy…let’s hope they give you enough time to tell them white guys commit worse crimes.

    • molarah

      May 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      No its not just that. Sometimes the generalizations are a bit offensive. I’m a Nigerian and I know other fellow NIgerians that like myself do not applaud excessive shows of materialism. I think its safer and less off-putting to say “The Nigerian society leans towards…” or “Some Nigerians…”. Come to think of it, most of the time, we are statistically off-base by saying “Nigerians” do this or that. Many times when we say Nigeria, we are really referring to Lagos or other metropolitan areas (because we’ve not been anywhere else really), leaving out more than 80% of the real Nigeria. A good number of Nigerians living in the rural areas and suburbs don’t share the same value system with us city dwellers, so we do Nigeria as a whole a great injustice with these kinds of generalizations.

  8. Bella

    May 18, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I think before like many years ago, many girls/wives didn’t really know what was going on with them yahoo boys, all we heard was he was hustling and we saw the money coming in, but fast track to the modern era, Google and all these info outlets, if by now, you are not sure what your BF/Husband does for a living and his company is not Google search worthy, then you are lying to yourself, you know very well what he is doing but you are choosing to turn a blind eye. Yes, we live in a society where we run so fast and so ahead to avert any signs of poverty but that does not mean that we should condone any acts of illegally gained wealth, can you not turn legit and leave that one behind? I personally cannot go to bed, sleeping well and knowing that my BF or Husband to be is a scammer, God forbid it, for what? So how long before we marry and I bear kids and my children ask what does daddy do for a living or worse, how about take your child to work day? These things are fun when you are still dating and have no strings attachedtoanybody but the reality of the situation is once you mature and grow up, you have to face the consequences of your decisions at some point and oh boy, EFCC no dey joke! Save yourself the drama and impending embarrassment and carry go.

    • Koye

      May 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Everybodies parents seem to have handed down such good morals and live such an exemplary life. So whose parents are the ones bleeding the country dry.save me all this stories,dirty daddies and mummies hiding under the cloaks of honesty. I don’t support fraud or anyone tarnishing the image of our country but local based stealing and corruption should be equated to be the same. Your mum works in the ministry and earns 100k a month yet brings back millions.Someone save me from this thieving parents

    • Anonymous

      May 18, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      I agree..it’s very funny how government stealing and the likes is not termed fraud. There are several penal codes constituting fraud apart from misrepresentation. Favouring your candidate for a contract,tax evasion,bloating government expenses,money laundering.to be honest this parents are horrible,they are much worse than the yahoo boys people cannot manage to marry, How do u sleep peacefully with such a thieving dad or mum?the yahoo boys are a product of his robbery and in developed countries he would have been sentenced to the same cell as them as they are identical crimes.Ibori seats peacefully at her majesties prison in Wandsworth for a crime many are guilty of. This so called elderly ones they stink and I’m not scared to say it.they might as well be given the name “419”rs as well.lol @dirty daddies and mummies and shame on them

    • TA

      May 18, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      @ Koye! Thank You very much. It is not only Yahoo boys involved in stealing o.If your parents ever worked in Nigerian Immigration or Customs chances are they have been involved in the fraud and corruption eating our society up! Yes i said it!!! Go to Nigerian passport office (Immigration) and try to complete the process yourself and see the odd looks you would get. The system is designed for ‘settling’. Me? I refused to bribe anyone and did everything myself. Nonsense! And these are people’s parents! The fraud, stealing and what not in our society ehn. You cannot possibly imagine the magnitude.

    • Zara

      May 18, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Spot on!!!!

  9. le coco

    May 18, 2015 at 10:26 am

    @anonymous.. i applaud you for bouncing frm such a relationship.. i too cannot sleep at night knowing hat my partner is doing… nd part of that is because i have seen my parents and how open and honest they are.. esspecially with money.. nd i am much like my dad, money doesnt particularly sway us… part of the reason i get turned off my rich guys ( weird huh).. i generally dont gravitate towards rich guys… esspecially the nouveaux riches… like seriously… you dont know where their money is coming from… yet you want to follow enter jeep…

  10. deb

    May 18, 2015 at 10:39 am

    My husband& I was discussing this exact issue over the weekend. I know of some guys that where school rats, they never got admission into the uni and where big time yahoo businees boys. There where these girls too that finished from different departments. Anyways I know 3 babes that married some of these boys, they live LARGE now in this LAGOS living in hi brow areas. Going on vacation, driving exotic cars&alll these money spent is gotten from Odu. They are living the life&i ask my husband when this money is no more available what will these babes do, my husband said, those guys will keep venturing into other things.Atoke baby, Odu has come to stay. Don’t even let me start to metion their names……

  11. Geraldine Ogwe

    May 18, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Atoke baby,nice article. It is always important to know what your partner does for a living. Knowing goes beyond what the person tells you. You need to visit the place of business,witness the person carry out such business, relate with at least 2 of his colleagues, co-workers, employees etc. For those who date yahoo and Google boys, they usually know. I have never met a yahoo boy who didn’t open up to his girlfriend. The veterans of the night are usually the conservative ones. It takes the grace of God and a strong will to quit any business that is illegal but pays your bills. For those doing 69 with 419ers consciously, you need to know that after the business partners,the emotional partners are the next set arrested or detained when yawa gas.

  12. dior

    May 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

    i have a friend who has been dating this yahoo boy for years now, yes i used the word loosely . Trust me i though she was having fun and all. recently the boy proposed and dear friend said yessssssss, and i have been thinking “am i the silly one, is she cray cray, or am i just over thinking things” or what was i expecting after dating for 5years. am just sorry in advance for this babe in advance, you know how you try and advice a friend and she thinks your jealous, have been there and i dont want to go there again

  13. Ivy

    May 18, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Lmao! Had a friend that was dating and is now married to an ex-yahoo guy (so she said), she knew about it but i wasnt just comfortable mehhnnn! I kept thinking of what they will tell their kids….. Oh daddy, was a “rolling stone?” *side eyes*. As it is i do not have any respect for her, her hubby or her family anymore cuz i do not just understand how u will allow ur daughter marry a yahoo boy. But she always said that she couldn’t live a comfortable life, her hubby had to be rich…..so?
    Besides, is it just me that feels or rather believes that if one uses fraudulent means to make themselves rich, they are taking from their future blessings?

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      May 18, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      Oh my! You got me laughing at “Papa was a rolling stone”.

  14. J

    May 18, 2015 at 11:42 am

    A lady i met in the keke i took this morning and I had this same jist!!!! We dont value honest people anymore. The country is hard no thanks to our leaders and followers. Its easier for a girl to fall in love with a rich crook than a honest struggler. Poverty erodes morals if you dont take time to stand against being polluted. I just got back from a UK vacation and couldnt help but be amazed at their contentment, caring and nice nature. They dont have Churches every spot of the way but at least they are more humane than we are. God bless you Atoke and other commentators for being truthful enough to acknowledge the wrong that is being glorifed.

    • Ola

      May 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      First time to post a comment. I agree with you “J”. I also went on a vacation to the UK. Most resident are honest and are not ready cheat or swindle. God bless Nigerians.

    • nene

      May 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      gbam!

    • Zara

      May 18, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      Yimu…. Just a visit!

  15. Tosin

    May 18, 2015 at 11:47 am

    The writer is going straight to heaven, along with Babyface. Wow.

  16. sisiLondon

    May 18, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    This Article hit a spot in my yansh, lol that was how i got introduced to this fine 29 year old guy o i had already been told about how he just bought a house and drives the latest mercedes benz ,we got talking etc in my mind chai i don meet hardworking gentle fineboy. fast forward to 2 months into our lakadizzle he sent me a video of renovation work going on in his house in lagos . my fellow bellagerians if you see houseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (5 bed with pool at the back) i was like wow! so i asked him how he got to achieve all this in 1yr ( he only just got back having completed his masters) the first time i asked he stopped speaking to me for labout 2 weeks , almost like i touched a nerve by asking what he did for a living. second time i asked he said he is a private person and doesnt like his business out there anyway, he now came up with the i am a car dealer and fashion retailer line…….. *yimu*…….. that was how i slowly cut him off and then my friends were like why am i asking questions the guy is rich etc . i no do that kind love oh, i would rather a 9-5 kind of man make we dey hustle dey go and i sleep with both eyes shut than not having peace of mind . Trust me in london oduuuuuuuuuuu is the new 9-5 now , girls dont care oh (Some of them are even involved ) so long he drives a nice car, lives in a nice house ,buys them loubs and lastest phones and then you see them outside like my man got me this he got me that YOUR MAN GET WORK ? ask them what their men do they will say he sells cars = odu, importer=odu ,exporter=odu, real estate= odu , finiancial consultant without office= odu

    Anyway back to work for me , cheers to the guys /ladies that have real jobs , our huslte is not in vain.

    • c

      May 18, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Ah I met one in the UK that does money transfer, went ofline for days saying he transferred money without knowning the money was HOT once he called me saying that the kind of money he was carrying was too much , I no fit handle had to find my square root. O

    • Hadassah

      May 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Yes oooo…. Cheers to the pips out there with real jobs…. Indeed our hustle won’t be in vain.
      It is sometimes annoying when you see the Oduuuuu pips living the larger-than-life and you are asking yourself how far? “Na only me waka come”
      I guess I should remain focused jare and not be swayed
      Thank you BN commenters for making me realize that am not alone in this struggle….. (All I see around me are Oduuuuu pips)
      Again… Thanks

  17. Toyin

    May 18, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Very interesting topic you have here Atoke.

    Before I got married, I had met a number of “rich” guys with no clear source of income or steady. I’m a natural at turning down such men. Like I can’t take you seriously if you make a living off people’s savings, because that in itself is stealing, doesn’t matter how it is done.

    My childhood friend is currently in a messy one. You know those Nigerian private Uni kids that want to outdo each other with their bf’s money? Yes, she happened to be one of those girls. She met this guy that blew her off with his stolen money. And every time I asked what he did for a living, she was unable to answer. He was neither a graduate nor a working class man, just a smooth thief. To an extent I believe she knew he was into internet fraud, but was ashamed of admitting it to me. Like you said in your article, some partners eventually find out and in fact aid their spouses…she became one of such. I was particularly worried about their relationship as they seemed pretty serious. I tried to give real-time examples of what happened to guys like him…(rumor has it that this childhood friend’s dad was a 419, who was eventually killed by his “partners”) Perhaps her mom hid that part of the story from her.

    Anyway, three years down the line, their relationship ended and she still found a way of going back to this guy..this time as friends with benefit..(money is so attractive). This time things started deteriorating as EFCC copped a few of his friends and then one of them hinted EFFC about him. Guy became paranoid and started doing drugs, hallucinating, lived in fear…abandoned all his properties in Lagos and ran back to his hometown..where he lived off my friend as he couldn’t withdraw money for fear of being traced to his address. His paranoia increased to a point where he jumped off a storey-building and was hospitalized for a while.
    I forgot to mention he occasionally calls my friend to insult her and curse her.

    No such thing as short-cut to the top..especially when you’re hurting people in the process. Life has a way of catching up with us…
    There’s no sugar-coating evil and that is one crime I am totally against. How do sleep with yourself knowing you lied to some 90 year old lady? Very few of these thieves actually invest with this money. They often blow it up at some club or on something irrelevant…It is karma

  18. TK

    May 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Here comes the moment when everybody automatically becomes a saint or a repented sinner #holypassmode#.
    Naija kwenu

  19. jazmyn

    May 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    About ladies following the so called “ODU” (my first time of hearing this word) and Yahoo guyz, its all greediness, i have been in such position before, my ex boyfriend traveled unexpectedly to UK and never came back, but got in touch with me some years later, i have friends and family who inform me of how rich this guy is now.
    He tried to woo me back, even though i loved him but knowing hes into that i could not continue with him. this is some one that did not graduate, what kind of job will he be doing that will make him this rich.
    Found of displaying his latest acquisition on social media, thats what some girls want, free tinz, i have had friends call me MUMU cause i never wanted to be associated with him, I am married to a more decent man now, though he is not rich, but we can feed and i have rest of mind.

  20. iyke

    May 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Money rules and it has always been like that? You however CHOOSE the part you want to be associated with.
    Thank God Jonathan lost this election! The level of corruption and the way money was thrown around by criminals in this country made it so hard for any hardworking man not to engage in any form of criminality…either as a white collar criminal,419 or whatever …..
    Remember that corporations/states are not structured for you and I to become millionaires, rather to perpetually work 9 – 5 until we retire …Only very few get there in the ideal sense of it (Successful footballers/athletes, musicians).
    So, for the majority of men to live that jet setting lifestyle from a young age of 30 and above in Nigeria, they have to step out of the status quo and do the needful.
    Which woman doesn’t want to fly on a private jet, go on a holiday to the Bahamas or be given a million $ engagement ring? No questions asked, a woman who lives or wants a jet setting lifestyle knows that she can only get that from a criminal (white /blue collar fraudster,mobster,drug boss, politician, etc).
    And the smart ladies don’t ask questions, they already know what they want and the answer they are looking for.

  21. deo

    May 18, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    I dated one drug dealer/yahoo boy for a number of years he is now engaged to be married to a popular lagos socialite that’s into luxury goods I won’t call names if you’re smart decode. He actually came clean and told me what he does all in the name of I want to change. My sisters it is not what it is cranked up to be. Running helter skelter, hiding from the authorities, settling debts, story upon story everyday I had to sit down and tell myself the truth do you want this man to be the father of your children can you take him home to meet what your parents what will I tell them he does for a living. I had to run for my dear life.

    • pipi

      May 18, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      peter abi and jennifer obayuwana

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 18, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Does she frequently get bashed on this same forum for dodgy weaves/hairstyles? I’m trying to link the clues you’ve left.

    • Anon

      May 18, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      He has gone legit now, he does not roll like that anymore.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      May 18, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Eya. Pele.

  22. Thatgidigirl

    May 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    BN commenters sha! Na which people dey marry the odu guys na? Suddenly everybody likes honest money no matter how small it is, everybody has become an investigator for rich guys that chased them. If the topic is about baby mamas/ virginity everybody would be a virgin or good girl. Abeg abeg abeg!

    • Toyin

      May 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Money matters oh! The people that got it legitimately, do they have two heads?

  23. Mz Socially Awkward...

    May 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Dead @ “If you’re owing anybody money, give them a call to explain why you haven’t paid back.” I’m telling you, sometimes that explanatory phone call just takes the rub away.

    One of my cousins is currently imprisoned in the US, due to running some sort of scam. Should I be ashamed to admit that in public? Maybe. Another female relation met some boy from “obodo oyibo” who we strongly suspect isn’t legit – I have no idea how they were introduced but I know he came to Nigeria, married her and left. Then he came back and they got pregnant and he left. Then he came back again and they had another baby… babe can’t go and join him where he’s at and the extended family has just been watching from afar.

    I heard about their (alleged) illegal activity after the fact and reading this makes me question the accountability of immediate family once they’re clued into the shadiness of their son/son-in-law. Forget the girlfriend or wife who was wooed from outside to come and participate in chopping easy money – what about the parents and siblings of the scammer? And even extended family members such as ourselves, harboring our suspicions that we can’t voice out in case we’re accused of haterism? Do we adopt the U.S. army’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to keep us from confronting the guilty family member with harder questions?

    Taking it back to girlfriends of the “Olodus” (Atoke, I’ve learnt a new word today), let’s say she’s a friend of yours. Do you reject their wedding invitation without being tagged an enemy of progress? Can you eat their rice whilst knowing the source of the funds, without being part and party of the misdeed (in other words, will the laws of karma attached to the crime also apply to you)? When her hubby buys a new range, are you allowed to show that you’re not impressed by the unsavory means which begat this purchase? These aren’t rhetorical questions and I’m just here wondering about our responsibilities in naming and shaming fraudsters.

    • Toyin

      May 18, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      About your last paragraph.
      I’m that friend that will ask you occasionally “has he stopped doing that illegal thing”? ‘I’ve been reading Linda Ikeji to see if your man has been found by EFFC’ “Are you going to continue like this?’ “I can’t promise i will come to jail often to visit you guys oh…Congratulations if this is you choice.”

      These are the questions I used to ask my friend every time and she understood that I wasn’t hating on her.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 18, 2015 at 11:52 pm

      You’re a good friend to do that because it takes courage to boldly tell loved ones the truths they really don’t want to hear. I’ve not had a friend in the same boat to advise and both of the relatives mentioned above have a distant relationship with me as we didn’t grow up together. So I’m yet to test my theory on anyone.

      Funny thing is that this article popped into my mind this evening and I suddenly remembered that whole Phaedra Parks scenario (she’s the Real Housewife who was married to a fraudster, abi?). So I suppose women across the globe willingly make these unwise decisions to do with love and crooks, for their own particular purpose.

  24. Jagbajantis

    May 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    The 419/scam artist/drug mule starter pack:

    1. House in Ogudu or VGC (before VGC got on the mainstream with the Ajah axis developments) . It used to be FESTAC in the early 90s, but the breakdown of the infrastructure in that area of town, plus the bad roads to the area means it is no longer a scammer’s preferrred area of abode. These days they like Gbagada or Ogudu

    2. Their spouse/wife/significant other usually owns a shop. Ikota shopping center was a popular area., Shops are good fronts for scam business. The wife would usually stock the shop with goods which cannot even generate enough revenue to pay half of the rent of the shop.

    3. Range Rovers – Scammers love this car, it should be called the Odu-Mobile. It is a tough car, and it can carry suitcases and suitcases of load. It is also a good get-away car if you are running from the EFCC.

    4. They usually at least 4 phones on all the networks – Glo, MTN, Airtel, Etisalat. Some of them even get lines from foreign networks join. To scam, is to be prepared

    5. Gucci or Hermes belt – Dont ask me why. Maybe its because the H in the Hermes belts stands for Hooligan.

    6. They love bars. Especially ones in Hotel Lobbies. Scam artists are in their element when they are making it rain in a smart bar/lounge watching Premiership football, and ordering rounds after rounds of alcholic beverages, with plates of asun/nkwobi for their teeming supporters

    7. They have an assistant (known as an otimkpu). This assistant takes care of administrative duties. Like set up meetings, go cash cheques, pick wife or girlfriend from salon, scope out areas, pay the bar-man after a night of flenjoring.

    8. They have ridiculous names, usually made up of 2 English names. Like Frank Solomon, or Monday Joshua, or Darlington Johnson. That is not their government name, but in Nigeria, your passport can bear whatever name you fill in the passport office.

    So there you have it. Let no one claim the defense of misrepresentation, and say they didnt know their beloved is a scammer

    • Toyin

      May 18, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      9. They don’t sleep at night, because WORK!

      10. Often have more than one laptop with loads of internet modem.

      11. Their cover-up business is “I own a truck I rent out to Petrol stations.

    • southernbelle

      May 18, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Lmaoooooooooo omo i tuale for you.

    • NaijaPikin

      May 18, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      This almost killed me. laughed so hard. But bia, how you take know all these signs and wonders?

  25. lol

    May 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I was going to write this with my usual BN name but decided not to because i share some personal stories here from time to time and some BN readers may know me but this one aspect that many do not know about my family. Being with a 419er or drug dealer is not joke, even a past one. I have a close relative (to remain anonymous I will not mention our we are related) who married a past yahoo yahoo person. Now she will claim she did not know he was but she did not know because she just wanted to be with someone and be married before her younger sibling. And although some family members most especially siblings insisted that some tough questions be asked because his story was not making sense no one did, including her parents who just decided to turn a blind eye and deaf ears to the questions. Well fast forward they got married and then things started going South, they lived outside the country and in the country where dude insisted on living was where he had been caught doing yahoo yahoo in the past. In her case it was not money that drew her in because 1.) yahoo yahoo money had been seized when he got caught. 2.) With living at home with her parents and her job she was way more comfortable than he was. But the lure of marriage in our society was what pulled her in. Only for dude to come out after she had married him, quit her good paying job and moved to a foreign land for him to confess that he was a past yahoo yahoo. Infact, he marrying her was another trick up his sleeves, he wiped out her entire savings in less than a year, then went on to try to live off of her parents until we all got wind of it and immediately blocked that particular whole, said relative died because she was working herself to the bones while this dude sat at home and buying things they could not afford. Yahoo yahoo, 419ers or whatever you call them, Lawd if i ever come across another one I will not hesitate to call Fire and brimstone on them. That’s why when i see this idiots being killed for drug possession i have not an iota of sympathy of them…LET THEM DIE!!!! we need laws like that for $$$ thieves too.

  26. mrs chidukane

    May 18, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I have very close relatives that were drug dealers. When the money was rolling in let me not lie, I ate my share and enjoyed biko. Girls would do juju just so the guys would marry them. At the end of the day, such I’ll gotten wealth has a way of disappearing without a trace. After which they struggle to go legit because they usually don’t have any skill set or educational qualifications to fall back on and even if they do, honest money usually doesn’t rush like dishonest one. I pity girls that marry such men because it’s a huge gamble that may not pay off. I know a girl who got married on Dec 28th, her husband was arrested and jailed for 5 years in January! So horrible.

  27. Tush

    May 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Story of my life oo. There was this guy i met in the uni. Dude was everythg( caring, affectionate, loves me like craze). N i was also smitten. Always throwing money at me n getting me stuff. I only had to think about it n i got already. So i started asking him, wat does ur father do? Where do u get money for all these thg. Said his uncle is a somethg to one billionaire i won’t mention. He works with him during holidays n all. I believed. But i started suspecting the day i tried to use his laptop. Dude blew a fuse saying itwas off limits. I even tot he was cheating on me. So i started investigating. What i discoverd blew my mind. He was a big time ODU boy in conjunction with his two older brodas. And the crazy thg was dat their mum an Alhaja knew about all these. As much as i loved him n still do sef, i just prayed n waka fast. Fast forward to 4 years later. Married now but i know i gave up the love of my life. But I believe it was all worth it. Dude is now in America still running all his schemes

  28. bae

    May 18, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Olukanye and iyawo west

    • Facepalm

      May 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      LMAOOOOOO. Sigh. That was an engaging period for Nigerian twitter.

  29. soso

    May 18, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Not like its okay to defraud people, but the same people condemning this fraudsters or whatever will gladly marry politicians that use public funds illicitly….. In our country stealing public fund can almost be compared to drinking water from a community tap.

  30. TA

    May 18, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Atoke, thanks for the closing words ”If you are owing someone please call them to explain why you haven’t paid.” May God bless you richly Atoke. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m not just being difficult but you just expressed similar sentiments as mine so..:-) Just this morning, I got off the phone after ranting to a friend about a mutual friend who has been owing me money for over a year now. The loan was supposed to be repaid at month end but after plenty excuses and stories (which I heard only when I called) he stopped picking my calls, deleted me from BBM!!! I’m so angry but trying to stop myself from embarrassing him on Facebook. Why can’t people have the decency to at least MAKE A PHONE CALL to explain why you cannot repay the loan yet. Why??? How hard is it to be considerate? Did I torture you like this before I gave you the money? Is it a crime to be nice? *sigh* My sister had a worse story to tell when I called her to complain, her friend’s older sister collected a small sum of money from her and now expects her to ‘ dash’ her the money. Arrrgh… let me just go and drink a cup of tea before I decide to call out the debtors here and now.

    • Doxa

      May 19, 2015 at 2:08 am

      My sister, it is a serious something o. When they need the money, they promise to repay by month end. When month end reaches, story will enter. Well in all fairness sha, the one that is paining me now, the lady used to pay up as promised, I dont know what happened this time around. But she wont call to explain and give me a time to work towards, it’s only when I call that she will be explaining.
      The thing was getting on my nerves and one day I almost got nasty. I had to advise myself to cool it, the money was not worth throwing away the good relationship we had prior to now.
      So I styaed off for a while. Just recently I called to ask how she is doing. I ask about everything apart from my money. I am not going to ask her for the money again, but she will sha pay me back.
      Everytime I say I will stop borrowing people money especially family members. I think it’s time to be serious about that decision.

  31. ReformedConArtist

    May 18, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    This is my first time posting on this website. I am not Atoke’s biggest fan but this article particularly hit close to home. I used to be one of the olodu guys. Yeah I said it. I even did prison time in the US for fraud. Spent about four years of my young life in prison in the States and then got deported afterwards. Truth is, the allure of money is strong and most people would do just about anything for easy money – guys and girls just go about it in different ways. With the benefit of hindsight though, fraud is just not worth the shame and stigma that comes with the repercussion. And for those saying that only uneducated people do 419 or credit card scheme, big lie. I am well educated – went to some of the best schools in the USA and studied all the way to post Master’s level. Its just that when you keep bad company and add that to your own innate greed, fraud come easy.
    However, people do change. Its not easy and it does require discipline and perhaps keeping away from the negative influences that lure u into fraud. I went back to school after my fiasco and got even more education. I now work for multinational firm outside Nigeria and I hope to start my own small business in Nigeria at some point in the near future. I have to admit that its not easy cutting your coat to your ‘legitimate’ size, especially after getting used to the flashing lights that illegitimate gains brings. But it can be done… people start over everyday.
    Having said that, most girls will intentionally date an olodu guy – I am talking from personal experience. They rationalize it to pacify their guilt but it all comes down to greed. If you are dating an olodu, he will get caught one day if he doesn’t stop… its just the way these things work. Best advice, don’t do fraud… Its not worth the punishment.
    And ladies… stay classy; hard work pays.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 19, 2015 at 12:00 am

      Your story sounds interesting and you should consider writing it down in a separate article for someone else to learn from. Use pseudonyms if you don’t want to be found out… but seriously think about the valuable pointer that it could be to another misguided young person. All the best as well in your new path and I pray that God continues to keep your feet steady.

  32. Jummai Hauwa

    May 18, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    I just like you, dunno why. Can we be friends

  33. Nedu

    May 18, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Big bank Chief and Investment banking guys running scams with stocks and all, govt officials thieving, Customs, Immigration, Police, Army etc living above their means, everyday people, shortchanging others, Igbo guys living in Europe and Asia, running drug rings; the come back in June and marry, travel out and return once in a year to ensure they get the woman pregnant, the parole just too much; way too much!

    Plenty things are just wrong in this world. Country bad, yet everyone here they form good boy? I know a relative who was doing YAHOO, married a lady who was doing business but that one kuku join am. Another one closed his shop in Alaba and set off to Thailand; thank GOD immigration deported him; na him corpse them for give us; yet another one is on deathrow in China, that is them never kill am; All them boys in Angola forming car spare parts dealers; I know my best friend’s neighbour in Festac. The guy no dey comot; and i mean, he does NOT leave his house except to go buy fuel or go to bank. Una know as light issue be for Festac; but my guy generator dey run 24/7. Dude Was driving an End of Discussion (2004 Honda Accord) when i knew him. Less than 1 year, he gives Accord to his wife and buys a Venza; Sells Accord and Buys and RX330, sells RX300 just last March and bought a Range Rover Evoque. Person wey no dey comot house oo. Rumours say he has a hotel in Owerri……me no sabi which one. But you guys can figure out what he does. Sad thing is, i see his 4 beautiful children and the fact that his wife DOES NOTHING and i weep.

    But while we are condemning other, make we take style dey torch light we lives too. Una think say na yahoo and drugs be the matter, we self dey package some kind petty scam join. Look at your line of duty and ask yourself if you are doing the right thing. Procurement oga for office yet connives with diesel suppliers to chance company of its money and enrich yourself.

    If u do anything like these above and more, and u dey here bad mouthin scammers, the thunder wey go strike you dey collect power from Satan!

    ka Chineke mezie Okwu!

    • Kamsiyonna

      May 18, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Nwanne please can I meet you??
      Its funny but I hate money that is not legit.. I try to work hard and God always blesses my efforts. I come up with creative ways to make small change. I am a bargain hunter, as I know where to get all the good deals and best buys in town all in a bid to save money. Things are hard but we just need to make up our minds to work hard at whatever our hands find to do. God rewards effort, moreso things would never remain the same. I have a friend who was doing a small job for close to 5 years in Nigeria. All the while I knew this dude, him no get car ohh. Did he cut corners in the office ?? Nooo!!. Today he has an amazing job. I think we should condition our minds that things will always get better.

  34. Gorgeous

    May 19, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Biko, my head no gree work for olodu. And NA dem like me pass. I don date like 3 and they hid it well. My investigative skills caught them all. I don’t joke with who I date abeg. Funny thing is after dumping them, they all got caught. Oriyomi is my name for their matter. I have one that has come back and wants to die on my matter. Trying to marry by fire by force. Even did something’s to ensure I marry only him. My dears such guys have no respect or love for themselves, they cannot love you. They are just greedy. Staying friends or in touch with them is very dangerous. They live a reckless life in every aspect of their life. Please stay away and change numbers of they bother you. This is for your own health and safety. Never ever have anything to do with an olodu please for God’s sake. It’s not worth it. A lot of these criminals come with big and complex mental problems. Being in a relationship with them can cause you to even have mental problems. Run as fast as your legs can carry you from a criminal. The money does not last and they will sell you to buy designer shoe if the money is no longer there. They are sick and flawed people. They don’t love you, they don’t even know what it means to love themselves otherwise they will never be in that business. If one cannot love themselves, you madam delusional is putting herself in very big trouble.

  35. U.Y

    May 19, 2015 at 2:42 am

    My brother did yahoo yahoo at a point in his life. He worked in a cybercafe in Festac (this Festac sef) where the yahoo boys came to transact. When they noticed how smart he was, they advised him to join. My brother rationalised it: my dad had just passed on, things were hard at home and even he was tired of lacking money so he joined.
    I was in boarding school then, one hols I got back and my brother was living large, he bought a vw golf, took me shopping for designer stuffs (wrangler jeans, boutique tops, swatch wristwatch, etc). He was also attending one popular big name church then. I remember that was when Silverbird cinemas just opened and he would gist us about how different watching a movie in the cinema was compared to watching video. He now even had one fair babe that time (I remember she had a very funny/weird name).
    He must have told my mum what he was doing at one point because she started complaining and asking me to tell him to stop. I remember when I was to go back to school but she did not have enough money so I had to delay for about a week. I remember then she would say things along this line “I could ask your brother for money so that you go back to school, but that money is not clean and I don’t want anything to tamper with your education.” I guess she believed that if his dirty money was invested in my education, things would go wrong. Anyway, she later got money and I went back to school.
    My brother’s escapade was only for a short while though because things soon returned to normal, God must have answered my mum’s prayers. The bad thing is that my brother acquired the taste for the good life and even after all these years, he has not been able to balance it out. He does not have tertiary education and this limits his opportunities even though he is a computer guru and had acquired more certification since his days at the cybercafe. Now he does odd jobs: a few months here and he will resign, a few months there and he will resign, none of them paying anything tangible.
    My mum bought his car off him once when he needed money and she needed a car.
    What’s the moral of this whole story? I don’t know, but I just thoght to share.

  36. babygiwa

    May 21, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    My dearest Atoks baby, take all the time you need. We dey kampe dey wait you on monday mornings by God’s grace. Now to the article, I don’t even know what to say cus I have close family members that do odu and other stuff. May God deliver them from their greed. Sigh. *covers face*
    At U.Y, maybe he should go back to school and try to help him when ever you can.

  37. Blazing

    May 26, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I missed Atoke yest…..

  38. anonymous

    May 29, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Hmm…this matter is just a very dicey one to avoid being called a hater. I hv a frnd that dates a yahoo boy but she must always deny that the guy has stopped and is now into legit…reallyyy? but he still spends very carelessly…this guy didnt go to uni o. and d most painful part is her mum is fully in the know..i weep fr the kind of little moral parents some of us unfortunately have.

  39. daisy

    June 5, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Please, who’s mz socially akward? Love her comments.Would love to meet her. P.s I’m a lady.

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