Friday, April 6, 2012


Two conmen, one a herbalist, DanlamiMakarfi, were sentenced to prison on three count charges based on criminality for duping another man, Adamu Mohammed, of N5.5m in cash and properties. The intent of the conmen was to pray for Adamu so as to relieve him of his problems.

Those afraid of taking risk will always be ready to pay.

The principle behind Adamu’s action, like that of every other troubled mind, is similar to the raison d’etre of the insurance industry: people who are risk averse are prepared to pay a premium in order to forestall the bad outcome. Adamu Mohammed, for paying a herbalist to pray for him to help relieve him of his problems was not mad or insane, he was just acting as a risk averse person, but the twist to the story was that the two conmen must have overstepped the bounds of what is acceptable into the territory of the fraudulent.

Adamu must have valued the claim of DanlamiMakarfi and his colleague at N5.5m with the belief that his problems will be solved, because amongst other reasons, he must have tried solving those problems himself over so many years and had hit a brick wall. Therefore, he valued his own efforts at N0 and the probability that he would succeed if he keeps trying on his own at 0. One can say that Adamu was not a stupid person to have paid such an amount of money, only that, as we Nigerians say, he was a typical case of “money miss road.”

A life insurance worth N5.5m needs lots of convincing.

I keep wondering why he should value the herbalist’s claim at N5.5m. I believe the Judge must have solved that problem, although the news article did not say, but it is certain that the herbalist and his colleague must have been glib salesmen. They must have sent false signals to the troubled Adamu and manipulated him very well such that the judge had to send them to prison on a three count charge.

Otherwise, why should N5.5m not be able to provide them with a good lawyer who can defend them very well?

Just like insurance, the business of offering prayers or miracles to relieve people of their problems will always exist. People will either be risk averse, and be customers, or be risk loving, and keep bearing and enduring their problems. But for an insurance policy on one’s life to be worth N5.5m; that is worth breaking the gates of heaven.

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