Ralph Johnson, a Cleveland resident, recently received an email from a sender who identified himself as an imprisoned Nigerian prince with massive oil holdings in the Bight of Benin. The sender claimed that he wanted to escape his life of prosperity because of the social pressures of his position. Additionally the prince was unable to access his accounts,as he had been arrested. A splinter cell of Boko Haram, funded by his political enemies, allegedly infiltrated his company to plant evidence of tax fraud. He said that if his dear friend Johnson, whom he does not know but can tell is “a wise and honorable man” were to wire him $500, he would be able to post bail and transfer his massive holdings to Ralph, the recipient of his distress message.
The prince stated that his access to the Internet was limited, as he was only allowed a single outdated mobile device while behind bars. He had nearly reached his data limit for the month as well, and he suspected his political enemies would attempt to have him assassinated and immediately seize his assets.
Due to the time constraints, he would have to receive word from his esteemed friend, the recipient of the email, in the following 24 hours to be released and also retain legal rights over his holdings. If the prince were not able to settle these affairs, Johnson read, his investments would potentially fall under the control of terrorist groups in the North.
Johnson stated that he assumed the email was simply spam and deleted it. Later that week, he read in the news that Abisade Okafur, a member of a Yoruba royal family and heir to oil-drilling enterprise off the coast of Africa, had been found dead with a shattered BlackBerry jammed into his esophagus. Later reports showed that he had been incarcerated based on tax-evasion charges, which were deemed questionable by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
President Muhammadu Buhari released a formal statement commemorating the life of Prince Okafur and offering his humblest condolences. The prince was a beloved member of his community and thousands upon thousands attended his funeral service.
Johnson watched a video of the proceedings on YouTube, and was later interviewed about his missed opportunity to save the prince’s life and profit from the estimated billion-dollar holdings. He mentioned the email was full of spelling and grammar errors, so he doubted its authenticity, unlike the offer for a free iPod nano that had not yet arrived at the time of the interview. He said years of YouTube comments sections had jaded him, leaving him deaf to sincere cries for help. Johnson sent his sympathy to the prince’s family and community in a long and eloquent letter, which has not yet arrived in Nigeria. It is the opinion of the Nigerian Postal Service that his letter was mistaken for junk mail and discarded.