Ali Ibeabuchi Victor, a Nigerian based in Belarus, has accused Famous Omaghere, a visa agent, of defrauding two of his friends of N800,000.
Speaking to FIJ, Ali said he felt he could trust Famous as it was someone he had been doing business with since 2020.
However, when he approached the agent to help process US visas for Omonigho Oghenevwoke and Otemu Sharp, his associates, the story changed.
“He processed my visa for Belarus in 2021 and it was successful. That same year, he was contacting me again to say he had slots for anyone interested in traveling to the United States of America for a climate program,” Ali said.
“I told him to give me time, so that I could contact interested people.”
LOOKING FOR CUSTOMERS LOOKING FOR VISA
Ali said he later told Elvis Osaze, his friend, who lived with him, about the opportunity. Osaze would in turn post the opportunity on his Whatsapp status for other people to know.
“After Elvis posted it, Omonigho Oghenevwoke and Otemu Sharp, two of his friends showed interest. Later I told Famous that these people were going to make deposits of N400,000 each. I told him also said customers should get refunds of N200,000 each if they were denied visas,” Ali said.
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“Famous agreed to this condition, saying they were fine. Later, I transferred 800,000 Naira to him in two installments. I first paid N400,000 on Jan 6 and the remaining N400,000 on Jan 9.
According to the initial plan shared by Famous, Oghenevwoke and Sharp were supposed to take their biometrics and visa interviews in Abuja on January 24. However, this never happened.
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“Before January 24, I started reminding Famous not to forget the promise he made to my friends about biometrics. I even begged him not to disappoint me because I didn’t want him to ‘a problem arises,’ Ali continued.
“Famous assured me that nothing was going to happen. But shockingly after a few days he reached out to say biometrics would be in batches.
After a while, Oghenevwoke and Sharp began to complain about being left in the dark after Famous failed to facilitate the promised biometrics. Ali also said that the two men demanded that invitations to the climate program prove that they had not been defrauded.
To ease the tension, Famous would later send them a voice note saying that he hadn’t spent the money given to him.
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“Oghenevwoke and Sharp felt relaxed after I sent them the voice note. But later Famous stopped responding to my messages. This action forced me to contact one of his friends in the Philippines. Unfortunately, the friend I contacted said he was no longer friends with him,” Ali said.
“His friend also added that if he had known I was having business with the agent, he would have warned me never to do business with him. He ended by saying Famous can’t be trusted anymore. .
After a while, Ali was able to get a number belonging to Famous’ mother. While chatting with her, he acted like a customer who wanted to process a new visa. Thanks to this, he was able to get the agent’s other working phone number from his mother.
Ali then called Famous and, just like he did with his mother, he pretended to be interested in getting a new visa. Hearing this, Famous responded positively.
From their subsequent conversations, Ali discovered that Famous had moved on with his life.
“His statements showed that he had moved on. It also showed that there was no way I was going to get back the 800,000 naira I paid him back,” Ali said.
THE FAMOUS “COMMAND” TO ALI TO DELETE A POST
Ali became frustrated and resorted to calling out Famous on Twitter.
“After I called him on Twitter Famous contacted me and told me to delete the post,” Ali said.
Despite asking his client to remove the post, Famous showed no sign of wanting to issue a refund.
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“Until we spoke he refused to talk about how he would reimburse me. He also stopped answering my calls. Oghenevwoke and Sharp also continued to demand that I return their money. If I had known, I wouldn’t have done business with him,” Ali said.
When FIJ contacted Famous, he said Ali should first “settle” with his lawyers because he had damaged his company’s image.
“Ali did some damage; he called me on Twitter. Let him settle with my lawyers first. We will take over the case from there,” he said.