Stella Dimoko Weekend Arena - The Story Of Nigeria's Most Notorious Con Man


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Friday, December 04, 2020

Weekend Arena - The Story Of Nigeria's Most Notorious Con Man

Naija is a unique place. One thing being a Nigerian teaches one is to be smart, or at least, believe that one is. With the economy getting tougher and tougher as the days go by, Nigerians are also re-strategizing on how to cope with the encumbrances. Man must wack and how a man wacks, does not matter, so long as he does not get caught.

It did not start today. It was there some one hundred years ago, when men, parading as magicians, would gather at market squares and charge money for people to watch them perform their ‘magical acts’, only to show how their magical objects would ‘catch’ metallic items like razor blade and ‘refuse to catch’ another metal following their incantations . And the ignorant audience would clap and pay more money, not knowing that magnets attract metals and like poles of magnets would not. The magicians would urge them to bring anything metallic and see how their ‘magical item’ (magnet) would ‘catch’ it.

It was there when I was a boy, fresh in the secondary school. I remember seeing one advert in Prime People magazine by one Alhaji S Sule, who claimed to have powers to make people rich with what he called Golden Leaf. You would order the leaf from his base in Lagos, put it in a plate, cover it with a white handkerchief and place it at a junction, after mentioning the amount of money, not exceeding N1000 so the power does not lessen.

 According to Alhaji S Sule, by the time you return to collect the plate the next morning, that amount of money you requested, would be waiting for you. The price of the leaf was N100 (cool money then) payable via postal order. My friends and I, four of us, saw it as ‘opportunity to hammer’, and contributed towards the investment in the hope that we would be earning N950 (N50 less than the benchmark) every day. We had calculated how much we would be worth before we got to Class 2. That very day, we sneaked out of the boarding house, immediately after the morning devotion to go pick our bounty, the plate was exactly the way we left it. No money inside. 

We wrote a letter to Alhaji S Sule, complaining about our disappointment. Surprisingly, he wrote back, telling us, it was a mistake on our part, hinting that we may have done something that needed to be atoned for. He suggested in his reply that we needed to order the Golden Leaf Oil for N300 to restore the power. We were determined and contemplating on how to contribute more money for the oil, when one of the prefects, (he later became the Deputy Group MD of one of the top banks) noticed that something was not right about our movements in the dormitory and raised the alarm and the bubble burst, leading to serious spanking and the reality that Alhaji S. Sule was fake, a pseudonym that bought into the legitimacy of a magazine and our naivety that whatever appeared in print was real. 

Only God knows the number of school boys, the criminal may have duped and how much he was making on a daily or weekly basis from cashing those postal orders.

Has this trend ended today? 

No way. In fact, it has penetrated very unusual corners and sectors of our daily lives. Today, there are Alhaji S Sules in churches, in mosques, in schools, in investment companies and mostly in politics. In churches, they are the ones ‘selling miracles’, sometimes performing more miracles in one service than Christ did the entire time he was on earth. 

Taking advantage of the emerging technologies, they are the ones who slid into your inbox a few minutes after you accepted their friendship request on social media to chat you up, most times with poorly-worded proposals. They are the ones who break into Whatsapp chat groups and begin to advertise 20k investment that yields N50k in 30 minutes with the names of trusted members of the group, whom they have stolen their identities. Some of them pose as customs officers and the moment you accept their friendship request, they come full blast with a tempting price list of household commodities. Some gullible people are falling prey to these schemes, which is why, in my opinion, they are still engaging in them with fierce fervour.

The hopeful part of this kind of scamming is that it leaves options for one to choose whether to walk away or not, but the Alhaji S Sule we see in politics, leave us all with no options at all. Once they wriggle their way into positions of authority, everything bad begins to happen. Poor infrastructures take the toll because, for them, the money earmarked for road construction is the benefit from their scam. 

Insecurity heightens, because money meant for acquisition of weapons should end in private pockets. Workers are owed salaries. Elections are manipulated and monies meant for development purposes are diverted to bribing judges for judicial victories. The beautiful thing is that we know these Alhaji S Sules in our various locations and the best we can do for the next generation is to collectively send them away from the corridors of power.

Hmmmm,nice writeup!!!

you for mention the names of the people we suppose send out of


  1. I have always loved his writeups right from his hints magazine days. Nice one Mr Ngozi

    1. Lovely write up, I always look forward to reading from you. Alhaji Sules everywhere 🥴

  2. Alhaji sule is at every corner of Nigeria in the form of naijabet and all the "bet"ponzi schemes, yahoo etc. God please help your children. Everyone wants to buy Benz

    1. So many Alhaji Sule's for real. The most baffling ones are the kaya mata sellers on Instagram. They have been duping people from 1920 but have recently advanced to favor oil, business sales oil, breakthrough soap, curse breakers (which curse?) Etc. I am always appalled to see people patronize these Alhaji Sule's. They promise these lazy wayward girls that their kayan mata items should be used only on extraordinarily rich men so that they would give them money in millions. Meanwhile you see the supposed well to do Kayan mata seller/ Alhaji Sule marry guys that have nothing to their names. I would have expected their products to work for them first by giving them wealthy husbands.Infact this life no balance at all.

  3. Mr Ngozi thanks for this write up..very apt as we have one Alhaji Sule that is facing trial now...We need to stop looking for ''fake messiahs'' but we the people need to rise up in unity and take our country back..

  4. Is there to see Stella na.. Alhaji Sule dey every facet of our lives...


  5. One Alhaji Sule has hacked into my Instagram account this morning, I'm yet to retrieve it

  6. Alhaji Sule Lai Mohammed
    Alhaji Rotimi Ameachi
    Alhaji Muhammed Buhari
    Alhaji Bola Tinubu
    Alhaji Adams Oshomhole
    Alhaji El Rufai
    Alhaji Gandollar Ganduje
    Alhaji Adamu Garbage
    Alhaji Feminist
    Alhaji Festus Keyamo
    Alhaji Detective Raji Fashola
    Alhaji Rochas Okorocha
    Alhaji Femi Gbaja
    Alhaji Orji Uzor Kalu
    Alhaji Maina Abudrashid
    Alhaji Stella?
    Alhaji etc

  7. Had to wait till this evening before reading this piece because I know it would make sense and it sure did!

  8. Ngozi you nailed it.

    The most Complex B

  9. Nice write up as always. I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

  10. It's greedy people that easily falls for Alhaji Sules


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