Student arrested with counterfeit Dollar note in Lefkosa released from detention, tell his side of the story

Last week, two Nigerian students were arrested and detained after one of them was found with a counterfeit money while trying to make school fees payment in a bank in Lefkosa.

The incident happened at about 2:00pm on Tuesday, September, 21 when Habeeb Ayodeji Odubunmi, a student recruitment agent in the island was about to pay school fees for a prospective student.

It was discovered that one of the dollar notes, a 50 USD, in his possession was fake. The police were invited and he was questioned over the issue.  

Habeeb explained to the police how he got the money from a friend who he had helped processed a university admission for. He was taken to the station afterwards and later joined by the friend who gave him the money.

They were taken to a court in Lefkosa on charges of possessing and using counterfeit money, where it was determined that Habeeb Ayodeji Odubunmi was innocent of the acquisition leveled against him. He was subsequently unconditionally released after spending almost a week in police detention.

Police in its investigation were able to prove that Habeeb's friend actually received the money from someone and gave it to him.

His friend who gave him the money was also released on bail, banned from traveling abroad, must report to the police station at least once a week, deposit the sum of 10,000 Turkish Lira in cash, and bring two guarantors to sign a 50,000 TL bail bond
but it is not known if she has been able to perfect her bail condition.

Habeeb has reached out to us to tell his side of the story.

My name is Habeeb Ayodeji Odubunmi. I am a nursing student at Cyprus International University. I am in my final semester actually. 

As a side hustle I do student agency, the name of my Agency is Excel Travel Agency and I have brought about 15- 20 students to the island since I have started. So I met the lady in question through another friend of hers, she was sick that day and I took her to Near East Hospital. That day I introduced myself to her as a student agent and I informed her that in case she has anyone that want to travel, she can contact me. 

So about 2 weeks ago, she sent me an application for the student, I applied to Rauf Dektansh University and he was given admission. Apparently she called me last week Monday to come and collect the payment for the initial payment of school fees which was 1,100 dollars. I was busy on Monday and I couldn't go, so I went last week Tuesday.  I collected the money, I counted it briefly, it was 10 100 notes, 1, 50 notes, 2, 20 notes and 1, 10notes. So I put the money in wallet and I went to girne, I came back to Lefkoşa around 1:30 and I went to the bank around 2:06 pm. Unknowingly I gave the money to the cashier at the bank, she counted and inserted the money into the machine, but I noticed the machine rejected one of the notes, I didn't even know which one was rejected at first, she then handed the money to another woman probably her supervisor, the woman took the money upstairs and came back, then one of the banker informed me that the $50 note is fake. So they told me that they had called the police, that I will need to give a statement about the money

Before the police came I contacted the girl and I asked her where she got the money from and I told her to call the person and inform him the money was fake. I did this initially because, I believed she wouldn't intentionally gave me a fake money, but to my surprise she started crying and she told me has deleted the person phone number from her phone, that got me suspicious and angry, so I hung up and sat down waiting for the police to come.

So the police came about 1 hour 45 minutes later and they asked me questions about the money, which I narrated the whole ordeal to them. One of the police, a female told me to ask for the girls address, I chatted her up and asked her to send her address, that the police wanted that, to my surprise again, she asked if she should send her original address or fake address, meanwhile the police was right beside me and saw the chat, this obviously got her suspicious and she collected my phones from me.

So they took me to the police station, where I narrated everything to them again. They asked for her number and called her, but they couldn't reach her.

To cut the story short, she ended up coming to the police station around 12:00am on Wednesday. And she narrated the whole ordeal to them which she didn't tell a single lie about. She told them I am an agent and I am helping her with her brother admission. I later got to know in Court when the police said she made a statement that she got the money from a Turkish guy who apparently they had s*x and the money was a payment.

Actually I thought, I will be released immediately the girl came in and tell them the whole story, and she actually even told me on our way to court the second day that she thought they would release me since she has came in to narrate the whole ordeal, unfortunately I was kept in cell for 6 days.

I was released unconditionally yesterday around 12:30pm. They found out I didn't have anything to do with it neither did I have any knowledge about it.

Please guys be careful out there. Make sure to confirm any note before accepting it. 

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