Three other persons, Ofodeme Sylvester, Uzodimma Didimus and Onyekachi Samuel, were also paraded for attempting to bribe the police to release Ezeona and Eze.
In a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police, SFU, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, the complainant said she was introduced to Ezeona by her mother, who met him at an ATM stand at Enugu.
Ezeona allegedly claimed to be an employee of the US Embassy and offered to assist her in procuring an American Visa. The complainant then informed her husband and both of them contributed and handed the sum of $15, 615 (N2.5m) to Ezeona.
But when Ezeona demanded extra amount of money, it dawned on the couple that he was a fraudster.
The SFU commenced investigation into the matter and arrested him last week. Detectives however discovered that 41-year-old Ezeona also had a US Embassy complimentary card with designation, Senior System Analyst Visa Section, operating under a pseudonym David Obiora Aniekwe.
Further investigation revealed that Ezeonna allegedly used the bank account of his 29-year-old driver, Eze, to collect the money from the complainant.
Ezeonna, who spoke with journalists during the parade, denied the allegations, saying he was just a victim of circumstance.
The indigene of Umunze, Anambra State, said, “The complainant’s mother and I were lovers. We met at a political rally in Enugu and we started dating .Although she is 65-year-old, she loved me dearly and even use to shower me with gifts on the condition that I don’t date anyone else. She had already started processing a US visa for me to travel abroad and my driver had collected the money from her to give to one Fatai.
“However, she later discovered that I was seeing someone else and this caused a serious fight between us as she said I must return all the gifts that she had given to me. We did not see each other for a while but one day, she called me and said she missed me and she wanted us to settle our differences. So, I went to see her.
“She said she would continue with the plans to sponsor me to the US and told her daughter to give me the money to pay Fatai who would help me to procure a US visa but I didn’t know I was being set up.”
When quizzed about the fake complimentary card, Ezeona, a student of National Open University, said he knew nothing about the card and that it could have been part of the plot to frame him.
“This is Nigeria. Anybody can print a fake complimentary card and put any name on it. It’s not evidence at all. It could even be part of the set up,” he said.
Ezeona said the police refused to release him except he provided part of the money.
Eze on his own part denied the allegations and claimed that his account was only used in transferring the money as he knew nothing about the transaction.
The investigation however took a sudden twist when on Monday; three men (Sylvester, Didimus and Samuel) came to secure the release of the two suspects by allegedly offering the Investigating Police Officer a bribe of N1m.
Sylvester, an engineer at Ogboso Giant Plc, confessed that he did not know the two prime suspects but was sent by one Mr. Charles Ibeh of Real Profile Oil and Gas on Victoria Island to deliver the money to the IPO. He added that it was Eze’s brother, Emeka, that gave him the money meant to bribe the IPO.
“I did not know it was a bribe. All I was told was that I should go and give the police money to secure the bail of the suspects,” he said.
Samuel, on his part, said he was sent by his boss, Ibeh, to collect N100,000 from the IPO which the police claimed was exactly 10 per cent of the bribe.
The suspects claimed the money was not a bribe but part of the money the police insisted must be paid back before the release of the suspects.
The CP warned members of the public to remain law-abiding and to be very careful when procuring visa.
“I hereby advise members of the public to avoid showing desperation when trying to procure visa as fraudsters are out there looking for whom to defraud. They should procure their visas from the appropriate embassies rather than patronising touts or agents,” he said.