political chieftain. When he isn’t claiming to be a private investigator,
he is a lawyer. One constant about Uwajeh, however, is that he isn’t new
to controversies bordering on blackmail and extortion. The latest
accusation was from Senator Andy Uba. Uwajeh had accused the senator of
forging academic certificates. The Senator representing Anambra South
senatorial district quickly fired back, accusing Uwajeh of lying against
him having failed to fall for the latter’s blackmail. The senator has
petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim asking that
Uwajeh be investigated for attempted blackmail with the aim to extort.
Meanwhile, police sources have hinted that the documents published by
Uwajeh may have been a forgery of Andy Uba’s certificates.While the ding-dong lasted, News Investigators’ Jackson Udeani, in search
for in-depth report on this latest controversy ran into Chika Okeke, who
served as Personal Assistant to Uwajeh for nearly two decades. Getting
Okeke to open up was a herculean task, his insight into the world of
Uwajeh, relationship with Ubah, Farida Waziri, former Vice President,
Tinubu among others is quite revealing. It is a must read.
Can you please introduce yourself.?
My name is Mazi Chika Okeke, Ndiokpara Eze town in Orumba North LGA. I am
currently a contractor, based in Port Harcourt.
What is your relationship with Chief Victor Osita Uwajeh?
I know him very well. He was my boss for close to 20 years. I was his
personal assistant for close to 20 years.
How did you begin working for him?
I first met him in 1993 in Maza-Maza, Lagos, I was working with a car
dealer at the time. He brought a car to my office and begged me to sell
What type of car was that?
A Honda Accord. He then took me to where he was staying, at Durbar hotel.,
FESTAC. He told me he was a pilot, the reason he was staying in such an
expensive hotel. That his airline was footing the bill. He said he liked
me and would like me to work with him as a PA. He convinced me to stop
selling cars and come and begin working for him. That since he was hardly
in Nigeria, I would be taking care of his business interests. That was how
I left all and began working for him.
When was that?
That same 1993. Initially, he told me I would be based in Lagos. However,
soon after I left my car business, he said Port Harcourt would be a better
place to stay to work for him. It was not until we got to Port Harcourt
that I discovered that that was his real base. A few weeks later, he asked
me to relocate to his village in Onitcha Ugbo, Delta State. He told me
business was down and that to justify my salary, I should begin taking
care of his aged mother.
What is the name of his village?
Agba village in Onitcha Ugbo. He told me my stay would be brief and that I
would soon rejoin him in Port Harcourt. Days turned to weeks, weeks turned
What is his mother’s name?
Mrs Elizabeth Uwajeh. She is now late.
How long did you spend in Uwajeh”s village?
I spent over three years.
Didn’t Uwajeh have siblings? I mean why were you detailed to cater for his
He had brothers and sisters. There is Matthew Uwajeh, a lecturer in
University of Benin. We had Johnson Uwajeh, now late, who also was a
lecturer in University of Jos. There is Rita Uwajeh, his immediate senior
sister. There is Rose who married an air force officer. He has another
sister we called Maggie. She’s based in Lagos. At the time, mama (Madam
Elizabeth) was old and sick. He gave me a car to drive her to and from
hospital and do other general runs to Anambra State. After mama died, he
took me back to Port Harcourt. The house was on. 11 Okoa Street,
Rumuokwuta. It was after my return to Port Harcourt that I began to
realise what he really does for a living.
How do you mean?
Like I said, he would always introduce me to people as his PA. This meant
that I was always going out with him. He would make me carry huge
briefcase with files of several foreign companies. Sometimes we would
travel to Lagos to meet some white men he told me were his business
partners. At some point, he would introduce himself as a lawyer,
sometimes as a military officer, yet other times he would claim to be
General Ibrahim Babaginda’s brother in-law. This was when I began to
suspect that he was a fraudster.
Why do you say so?
Why? This was a man who told me he was a pilot. Telling other people he
was a lawyer or military officer. I did not see him with any reasonable
means of livelihood, but he was never in short supply of US dollars. On
several occasions, I would eavesdrop on several telephone conversations
with supposed foreign business partners. Usually, such calls would be
followed by fax messages which he forbade anybody from receiving on his
behalf. After such fax messages, Chief Uwajeh would visit Bureau de Change
and smile home with wads of US dollars.
About what year was this?
Several years. Like between 1997 up till about 2001. See, nobody close to
Chief Victor Uwajeh needed to go to Sunday school to know he was an
advance fee fraudster. His boss at the time was Oka Omee of Awkuzu,
Anambra State, Nebeolisa popularly known as Joneb. Remember I told you I
used to run errands to Anambra State. He used to send me to Joneb’s place
in Akwuzu, as well as to Ihiala to deliver documents to the late Eze-ego.
Recall that the two men were the cream of notorious 419ners at the time.
Can you substantiate this allegation?
Allegation? You call this allegation?
Of course, it’s an allegation.
See, apart from sending me on several occasions to see Joneb and Eze-Ego,
Chief Uwajeh and I made several trips to see both 419 kingpins. But his
main boss was Joneb. He (Joneb) was physically present at Chief’s
(Uwajeh) wedding in 2001. Joneb was also there when Uwajeh was honoured
with the title Olika eze 1 of Onitcha Ugbo (One who eats like the king).
You spoke about Uwajeh’s wedding in his village. What was the bride’s name?
Her name was Caroline, from Bonny, Rivers State. They divorced shortly after.
You must have made a lot of money having witnessed, as you said, several
business transactions with foreigners?
Sadly and incredibly, he never put me on a salary. He would always give me
handouts with several promises to “make me a big man”. Of course he never
Why then did you stay with him that long having realised, as you claimed,
a man of decent means?
The truth is that I was in a dilemma. Here was a man who made me leave all
I had, making all the money from foreigners and yet giving me peanuts.
Some confidants advised me to stay, that probably the man was trying to
test me loyalty.
Who else was working for Uwajeh?
We were many. There was Chidu, from Delta State. We had Jerome, Emeka,
Emma. We were about nine people working for him.
You’ve said you were his PA. What were the others doing for him?
They were the ones who receive Fax messages for him.
What Fax messages?
Like I told you, he was a 419. At the time there was no Internet, so all
the messages from his victims usually came as fax. Each boy was detailed
to a fax machine. We called them beats.
Soon after GSM came, my boss began targeting top politicians.
How do you mean?
In 1999, the military gave way to civilians. Remember that Advance fee
fraudsters suffered under Abacha. At the time my boss went underground.
So, when the civilians came, he found a softer target. The icing on the
cake came when Obasanjo created EFCC. Uwajeh, having lived in the UK,
would cook up documents purportedly from Scotland Yard on governors and
ministers. Some of them being crooks, and some others, not ready for any
embarrassment, would part with huge sums of money in foreign currencies.
Can you give instances?
He tried to extort money from the Late Governor Alamieyeisiegha in Dubai
at the time the man was having a running battle with Ribadu. Charles
Soludo, Nasir el’Rufai, Bode George, Cecelia Ibru, and Rotimi Amaechi are
some of the persons he tried to blackmail and extort. But for Mother
Luck, the late Alamieyeisiegha would have had him arrested in Dubai. His
strategy is to approach anybody he feels is being hunted by the government
of the day. Yes, he tried the same thing with Senator Bola Tinubu. When
Tinubu chased him away, he ran to Senate Bukola Saraki with documents he
said could nail Tinubu.
How did you know all this?
I was always with him. Most people don’t realize that Uwajeh is a coward.
He is so afraid of everything around him. He can be indoors for months. He
hates traffic jams. He’s always looking across his shoulder as if he’s
expect somebody to harm him. The only times he likes going out is to
collect money from his numerous victims. It was his indoor habit that made
Farida Waziri boys arrest him in January 2010.
The arrest generated so much controversy. At a point, EFCC said it
arrested a fake official. Uwajeh on the other hand claimed Farida Waziri
employed him as an undercover agent. As an insider, what is the truth?
Both versions are correct. Uwajeh is a very intelligent conman. When
Farida became EFCC chairman, Uwajeh became close to one of her sisters.
The lady’s name was Mimi. Uwajeh, having divorced his first wife, married
Mimi. With Mimi, Uwajeh was able to get very close to Farida-Waziri and
so, penetrated EFCC. As a brother in-law to the EFCC chairman, Uwajeh had
unfettered access to top secret files and dossiers on top politicians,
especially governors. Aside Uwajeh, there was this top-flying Tiv
socialite who to some extent, used his connections to Farida-Waziri to
extort money from top politicians. However, Uwajeh’s strategy was bizzare.
He would tell you he sourced the information from an MI5 agent in London.
This is the fake certificate he parades as a private investigator
(brandishes a copy). Given his access to classified EFCC files, Uwajeh was
able to crack the strongest politicians. At a time, he tried to use Andy
Uba to penetrate some top politicians. When Andy refused, he turned
against the man.
How did you know he wanted to use Andy Uba to penetrate some politicians?
I was in the picture. Remember I told you that he approached Saraki. When
the man refused, he turned to Andy to help talk to Saraki to give him
$300,000. I once heard him begging somebody I believe was Andy to talk to
the man to give him the money he said was chicken feed. At a point, Andy
Uba stopped picking his calls. On two occasions, we went to Andy Uba’s
house and the security man refused to let us in. My boss said he was sure
the idiot was at home and told me he was going to teach him a lesson.
Are you insinuating that Uwajeh’s recent allegations that Andy Uba forged
his certificates may be linked to an earlier disagreement?
Of course! Let me tell you how Uwajeh operates. I told you he approached
Tinubu with claims he has documents to stop Saraki when the latter was
planning on running for Senate Presidency. When Tinubu didn’t give him
attention, he moved to Saraki. At a time, he tried to use Timi Frank. When
Saraki refused to give him a dime, he ran to Andy Uba to help convince
Saraki to give him $300,000. When Andy Uba failed to play ball, he told
Andy to give him the money as a loan, that he had some pressing issues. He
That Uwajeh have access to Andy Uba’s certificates, doesn’t that suggest
that they have something in common?
You don’t understand Uwajeh’s capacity to forge anything. The house he has
in Wuse 2, Abuja was from the money he extorted from a former Vice
President. This is a man who can clone any document. He has the capacity
to forge even your (the reporter’s) birth certificate. Don’t forget that
the man has been a fraudster and blackmailer all his life. Apparently, his
calculation was that a top politician like Andy Uba would bite the bullet
and beg him to stop the embarrassment. Did you see what Uwajeh filed in
court? That Andy Uba was owing him 1.2 million British Pounds for
negotiation with the British government to lift the no-entry ban. I laugh.
Even the Nigerian government won’t give such money to a negotiator who
secured the release of over 200 Chibok girls. If I were Andy, I would send
him to jail. One good thing is that Uwajeh’s people are not happy with
him. Recently, he bought an SUV for one of his brothers. The man rejected
it. Even when his mother was alive, she used to warn Chief to stop playing
tricks on people. Mama Elizabeth used to tell me that Uwajeh began playing
tricks on people from a tender age, that she had been begging God to
change his ways.
Everybody from Onitcha-Ugbo and environs knows Uwajeh to be a fraudster.
When was the last time you spoke with him?
We last spoke in 2015. I called to ask for the money he was owing me. He
owed me salaries for the better part of the time I worked for him. I even
reported the matter to his elder sister and she pleaded with me to be
patient. I am still waiting.