A commercial transporter, Mr. John Nzeh, has accused an official of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Mr. Akeju Ahmed, of giving him a dud cheque.
The cheque was meant to be part-payment for the N350,000 being owed Nzeh by Ahmed.
The Skye bank cheque was issued to Nzeh on April 11, 2010.
Nzeh told our correspondent one of his conductors introduced Ahmed to him as a reliable person.
He said, “I own many commercial buses which ply different routes in Lagos. A conductor who worked for me introduced Ahmed to me. He told me that Ahmed was a government official and was reliable.”
Journalist learnt that the problem between them started when Ahmed informed Nzeh that there were vehicles being auctioned by the Ministry of Environment in 2010, which Nzeh expressed interest in.
When Nzeh visited Ahmed at his office, he was shown the vehicle, a MAN Diesel tipper, parked on the ministry’s premises at Alausa.
Nzem said Ahmed told him that the vehicle would initially be auctioned to him (Ahmed) and he would in turn sell it to him ( Nzeh).
Both men agreed on a price of N350,000.
Nzeh said, “There was no reason to doubt him because he was recommended to me by a trusted employee. I made a first payment of N50,000 and later completed the amount with a cheque for N300,000.”
However, months after payment, Nzeh was not able to take possession of the truck as Ahmed allegedly became evasive.
Nzeh said Ahmed started avoiding his calls, adding that after months of pestering him, he eventually issued him a cheque of N200,000.
Nze said, “Each time I called him, he would have an excuse for me and I didn’t want to go to his office without an invitation. Eventually, after much pressure, Ahmed gave a cheque of N200000. To my surprise, when I got to the bank, I was told there was no money in the account. I was back to where I started from.
Nzeh eventually lodged a report at the State Criminal Investigation Department at Musiliu Smith Road, Yaba.
Ahmed was arrested for issuing a dud cheque but was later released without prosecution.
He later paid N50,000 to Nzeh and also offered him an LT bus that was auctioned off by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.
Nzeh said, “But the bus was a scrap. I sold it off for N25,000. I had to tow it from the LASTMA office with another N10,000. So right now, I am being owed N290,000.”
Ahmed however denied evading Nzeh.
He said, “I don’t know why Nzeh is reporting me to everyone. We have been friends for years. I did not duped him of N350, 000. It was due to circumstance beyond my control.
“I was hoping to get the MAN Diesel trailer so I could resell it to Nzeh. but in auctions, it is the highest bidder who wins. I lost out in that auction and have explained to Nzeh that other auctions would come. I even gave him an LT bus that I won when LASTMA held their auction last year but he came back to tell me that the bus was worth nothing. He said he sold it for N25,000.”
Ahmed told journalist that he had promised Nzeh another vehicle, adding that he was not able to fulfill his promise because he was not around most of the time.
Ahmed claimed that the issue of his dud cheque had been settled at the SCID.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, said, “I will need to know the section at the SCID that handled that case so I can get details.”
First published by punch