Fuel marketer buys N496,000 goods with dud cheques

A boutique operator at 5 Education Close , UNILAG Estate , Magodo , Lagos , Mrs. Bola Omidiji , says her business is on the brink of collapse after a customer paid N496 , 000 dud cheques for goods bought from her .

The debtor , Babatope Adeeso , had reportedly bought pairs of shoes , wristwatches , perfumes and clothes , for himself , his wife and children from Omidiji sometime in April 2017 .

According to report from PUNCH Metro, we learnt that Adeeso , who is an executive member of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria , Ore depot , had wanted to pay for the items through PoS , which was not available at the shop .

He reportedly asked the woman to follow him to a branch of Guaranty Trust Bank in the area to transfer the money via an Automated Teller Machine .

Omidiji told our correspondent that after failed attempts to transfer the money , Adeeso collected her account number and promised to effect the payment later that day .

She said she became apprehensive when Adeeso did not pay the money into her account several days later and she called him on the telephone .

She said , “ We knew each other about a year ago through an online platform where I advertised my products . He had bought some items from me a couple of times before the April 2017 transaction .

“ He said he had wanted to do shopping for his family abroad , but he aborted his travelling for some reasons. He bought shoes , wristwatches , perfumes and clothes worth N 496 , 000 for himself , wife and children . After collecting the items , he wanted to use PoS for payment . I told him I didn ’ t have and we went to GTB around my shop , so he could transfer the money .

“ The transfer was not successful . We also went to Skye Bank without success . He collected my account number and promised to do the transfer later that day . Days went by without receiving any credit alert from him .
“ When I called him , he said he was having issues with his business and pleaded with me to give him some time . After some weeks , I started calling him again . In July, he gave me cheques of N 496 , 000 . My mother died at that time and I needed part of the money to do her burial .

“ He split the payment arrangements into three tranches dated July 17 , July 21 and August 18 , 2017 . I presented the cheques at the bank twice , but they were dishonoured . ”

Omidiji said afterwards , Adeeso hardly picked her calls , adding that she eventually learnt that the bank account on which he made the cheques out to her was his late father ’ s company account .

She said later in August 2017 , she met with an IPMAN executive and boss to Adeeso at Monsimi depot , Ogun State , where he ( Adeeso ) is currently based .
She added that the man urged him to pay the money by September .

“ After the meeting , he ( Adeeso ) stopped picking my calls. I then reported the case at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department , Yaba , Lagos , in September . The police got an order from the Ogun State Police Command to arrest him . They went there, but could not find him . I also reported at the Isheri Police Station . They advised me to let the SCIID continue with the matter .
“ The police told me to be monitoring him , but for how long can I do that ? My business has been seriously affected.

“ When I called him early December , he said he had travelled out of the country. He said he would return on December 20 . When I called him on December 21 , he said he was back and promised to pay me that week. He reneged on his promise and has refused to pick my calls since then , ” she added .

In a telephone interview with PUNCH Metro , Adeeso admitted that he owed Omidiji the sum. He explained that he paid by the dud cheques because the woman continually pestered him for the money .
He , however , said he intended to pay the debt by the end of February 2018 .

Adeeso said , “ It is true I owe her . I have not said I will not pay her . I have the intention of offsetting the debt , maybe by next month because my business has not been moving. By the special grace of God before the end of February, I will pay . Any time I call her , she is always nagging .

“ What happened is more than what she told you . But that is not the issue for now. As of the time I bought those goods from her , I never had any intention of issuing cheques. It was when she kept pressurising me that I gave her the cheques under duress .

“ The cheques were just an assurance that I would give her the money. The issue between us is a business transaction . She calls my relatives who were not there when we were transacting and keeps threatening me with abusive words . Business is not moving this time , but any time I try to communicate that with her , she flares up . She should give me till the end of February, but if she wants to take it up , IPMAN cannot cough up money from my pockets and heaven will not fall . ”
But Omidiji expressed doubts on Adeeso ’ s pledge , saying he would not pay at the end of February .

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer , SP Chike Oti , promised to get back to our correspondent with comment , but had yet to do so as of press time.