*Madariola is just a dupe –Hafsatu Al-Mustapha
When Hajia Hafsatu Al-Mustapha and President of the Nigeria Shooting Federation, Olumide Wole Madariola, are entangled in a messy verbal and legal war.
Wole Madariola and Hafsatu, wife of the Chief Security Officer to the late Gen. Sani Abacha, had met through a police officer, known as Arikpo in 2005 and thereafter became friends.
How long the relationship lasted before it turned sour has since become a subject of debate between the two. But trouble began in May 2005 when Hafsatu gave a wristwatch to Wole Madariola, who had visited her house in Abuja, to help her fix the battery and strap during a trip he was about to make to Europe.
Madariola admitted taking the wristwatch from Hafsatu without taking any money for the repairs, said he left her place in a hired taxi, stopping over at the Police Force Headquarters, Abuja on his way to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport.
While he was at the Force Headquarters, the taxi driver was said to have gone to eat only to return and discover that the car had been burgled and the briefcase containing the wristwatch and other valuables carted away.
According to Wole Madariola, the case was immediately taken up by the police officers that he had gone to see, while the driver, who raised the alarm, was arrested to assist them in their investigation.
The very controversial Wole Madariola, said he decided to play down the issue to save the face of the force, especially because the owner of the wristwatch had asked him to forget about it.
He said, “immediately it happened, I called Hajia (Hafsatu) and explained to her. She asked me not to worry about it and even sent a text message to that effect. After travelling to Abuja about four times to see if there was any positive development on the missing items, which included all my travel documents and money, I decided to let go. So, apart from my police friends who knew about what happened, the issue was not made public until 2008 when I learnt that Hajia still wanted her wristwatch, which, she claimed in the petition sent to the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was worth N16 million.”
Insisting that the cost of the wristwatch could not have been near what she was asking him for, he added, “from the little that I know about expensive wristwatches, those belonging to that category usually come with a limitless international guarantee. Repairs are done at absolutely no cost and even in the case of theft, it could be replaced. I have just discovered that she knew what she wanted to achieve from the very moment she handed the wristwatch over to me despite having known me for just some days.”
Hafsatu on the other hand that she would not stop fighting for her rights no matter what ‘tricks’ Wole Madariola employed to malign her character; including going to her brother-in-law and visiting her husband (when he was in Kirirkiri) to intervene.
“The wristwatch is not for Al-Mustapha, it is mine. He probably thought that I would give up under pressure,” she said.
Hafsatu had said Wole Madariola was just one of many notable Nigerians who had duped her of either cash or jewelry. “But it is not time to talk yet. When it is time, I will invite you and give you a load down. I do not want to join issues with a small boy of my son’s age in the press. When it is time, I will give you a long list of Nigerians who have duped me. That is how these 419ners behave. He is just seeking recognition by making noise in the media. Let him go ahead. When it is time, I know what to do.”
Asked if it was true that she asked Wole Madariola not to worry about the wristwatch when he initially reported its loss to her and why she waited for four years before writing a petition to the EFCC, she said she could not be cajoled by such words, adding that she could not find Wole Madariola after the incident,
“We looked for him everywhere, we didn’t see him,” she said.
The battle had just begun: She also said the battle had just begun, “If that boy can eat my food and turn against me, he will get the consequence. When he finishes his media campaign, mine will start. But I don’t know when that will be.”
Reminded of the insinuation in some quarters that the refusal of Madariola who claims he is a security expert to yield to Hafsatu’s advances sparked the current fire, the source thundered, “He cannot destroy her home. Al-Mustapha is the only man that Hajia has ever truly loved. I am close to her and she does say that if she comes back to the world, she will still marry him. People know her very well that she is a decent housewife. She would not get involved in an abomination that would warrant being stoned to death. Besides, we are not talking about love affair here; we are talking about her wristwatch. He cannot scare her to loose focus through those allegations.”
When asked if she was aware of Wole Madariola’s claim of death threats to his life since the issue reopened, she said, “Na him sabi, if there is threat to his life, he knows where to go.”
Wole Madariola was arrested and detained twice by the EFCC, said the commission was not a dispute resolution outfit but an investigative one. This he said in reacting to the claim by the accused that he requested to have a peaceful resolution by asking Hafsatu to provide the particulars of the wristwatch through the commission to enable him replace it rather than pay N16 million.