In this second report, TESSY IGOMU took a detailed look at how greed among other factors, leave Nigerians at the mercy of fraudulent investment scammers and illegal fund managers.
Driven by a desire to assist petty traders and market women to access soft loans to boost their businesses, Alex Onyia did not think twice before investing in a micro lending investment scheme introduced to him by Bamise Ajetumobi, founder of Imagine Global Solution Limited.
With a promised Return on Investment of 3.5 per cent, Onyia claimed to have invested a total of N60m.
He told PUNCH Investigations that what Bamise sold to investors was a convincing plan hinged on poverty alleviation, only for him to disappear with investors’ funds pegged at around N22bn.
Onyia said, “I invested an initial N10m at the time Bamise had about 5,000 customers. He gave N30,000 as loan to traders and was collecting N500 from them daily. I later invested another N10m and later N40m. Suddenly, there was a delay in payment and it later stopped completely.
“I was not particular about the RoI, it was more about the model he sold to us and it was one meant to impact on lives. As an investor, I wanted my money to change lives. If I am able to help fish and tomato sellers to raise little capital to boost their business, why not. There was profit and impact to it.”
Onyia said when investors sensed that something was amiss, the advisory board of the company invited Bamise for a meeting, but he never showed up.
“By then, he had moved to a penthouse in Ikoyi. Unknown to us, he had collected a large sum of money meant for investors from a bank and had also sold his house. His action took us by surprise and it was against all odds,” the distraught Onyia said.
Lost to the wind
Onyia’s case is not an isolated one. At the moment, several distressed Nigerians have retreated to the confines of their homes to lick their wounds after investing billions of naira in fraudulent financial schemes advertised with promises of bogus interest rates.
Fronting physical offices with handy staff members and brandishing certificates engraved with logos of relevant regulatory agencies to appear legitimate, the promoters of the schemes have over the years, lured Nigerians with promises of unrealistic RoI.
As usual, an exhilarating high is almost always followed by a steep fall for those who fall prey, as they end up losing everything.
Operators of these schemes thrive on people’s trust and greed to strip them of their life savings or retirement benefits as retirees have more often than not fallen victim to their dubious ploy.
Victims are plunged into perpetual poverty, while those that borrowed to key into what they are brainwashed to believe are once in a lifetime, larger than life business opportunities, become indebted.
Aside the initial shock that comes with huge losses, disbelief and utter disenchantment set in, while some people gradually accept their fate, others, with time, slide into depression and later nurse suicide ideations.
Ponzi schemes have continued to spread across nations, especially in developing countries with low per capita income like Nigeria, where the poverty and unemployment rates are high.
As time passed and with people becoming aware of the antics of the operators, ingenuity went into play and others crept up under the guise of real estate, agriculture, medicine and tech, among others.
Based on reports, unemployment and poverty, which have plagued Nigeria, are major factors that fuel these investment scams.
According to data from the World Poverty Clock, a web tool produced by the World Data Lab, the number of people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria rose from 86.9 million in 2018 to 93.7 million in 2019.
This positioned Nigeria among nations with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty across the world.
Also, data from the World Bank revealed that around four in 10 Nigerians live in poverty, while millions more are vulnerable to fall below the poverty line, as growth remains slow and not inclusive.
Similar data released by the National Bureau of Statistics stated that the population of the unemployed in Nigeria during the last quarter of 2020 stood at 33.3 per cent, an increase of 6.2 per cent compared to the 27.1 per cent of the second quarter.
The report placed Nigeria at the number three position among countries with the highest number of unemployed people in the world.
Social critics and financial analysts have averred that the alarming proliferation of fraudulent investment platforms in recent times and the scramble to key into them were invariably linked to greed, which is most times fuelled by unemployment and poverty.
According to the Chairman, Health Assur Limited, Abimbade Adeshina, technically, people who invest in unregistered schemes with unrealistic RoI are driven by greed. “Those going into it do so due to greed. When you meet your waterloo, you are on your own,” the stockbroker added.
Sadly, the recent fleecing of Nigerians is coming years after members of the public were robbed blind through similar Ponzi schemes including the Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox or MMM. From all indications, it seemed Nigerians have not learnt any lessons from the past.
Colossal sums lost to fraudulent schemes
According to an Annual Report of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, the Nigerian investing public lost N11.9bn to the MMM and over N28.7bn was invested in the scheme between June and December 2016.
The report further revealed that N28.7bn was the actual amount of money that passed through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc and involved only 14 banks currently on the NIBSS Industry Anti-fraud System. The report noted that the loss could be much higher than the figures quoted.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, Umaru Ibrahim, also revealed that an estimated three million Nigerians lost N18bn to the MMM between 2015 and 2016, while over N106bn was also lost by investors to the Nospecto scheme within the same period.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said it was alarmed at the rate investment scams were thriving in the country despite the enforcement and public enlightenment interventions.
In a statement by its media head, Wilson Uwujaren, the anti-graft body noted that hapless citizens had lost and were still losing money, thus compounding the nation’s economic woes.
Greed validated by celebrities, social media influencers, comedians
While celebrities, comedians and social media influencers carelessly endorsed and raked in millions, citizens who love and blindly trusted their judgment, fell victims to the scams they promoted.
For years, these individuals have always been courted by promoters of these fraudulent schemes that see them as go-to for adverts and promotions. It is believed that the endorsement of any products or services by these celebrated individuals with cult-like following dedicated to their craft guarantees a harvest of investors. This seems to be the case as celebrity endorsement usually gives fans a sense of security.
Recent fraudulent investment schemes endorsed by celebrities and which have led to massive loss of funds were fronted as forex trading, real estate, banking and agricultural enterprise, among others.
An example was Benignant Forte Nigeria Limited, massively promoted by Anita Asuoha, the comedienne known by the stage name ‘Real Warri Pikin.’
The company which claimed to be into real estate development, logistics, haulage, hospitality, agro-allied services and transportation was alleged to have scammed investors, most of whom were her followers of N10bn.
She however, later took to her various social media handles to apologise for leading her fans on as the company’s brand ambassador.
Another scheme linked to celebrities that wrecked followers was Racksterli, an online investment platform that made an unrealistic promise to pay 40 to 50 per cent RoI.
Some of its major promoters include popular pop artist, David Adeleke, known as Davido, Divine Ikubor, known as Rema and Williams Uchemba, an actor cum philanthropist. Not long after Racksterli crashed, Davido took to his Twitter handle to promote yet another scheme, Rapdoge and advised his followers to take advantage of the offer.
In one of his tweets, the pop artist told his over 9.5 million followers to “buy $20, $100 or $1000 worth of Rapdoge token and be ready to make some money.” A second tweet had Davido asking them, “Who listened to me about Rapoge?”
PUNCH Investigations learnt that following his tweets, one of which was made on July 19, 2021, the price of Rapdoge surged by more than 100 per cent as interest grew.
His endorsement of the cryptocurrency, however, did not go down well with some of his followers who lost funds to the Racksterli Ponzi scheme, and they wasted no time calling him out.
One of them was a tweep with the name, Emmanuel Jerry VI that tweeted, “That was how you deceived people into investing in Racksterli and it crashed with people’s money gone. Y’all should invest at your own risk. A word is enough for the wise.”
Not long after, the value of the coin reportedly dropped rapidly, leading to a huge loss for holders and investors.
Several Nigerians were also allegedly defrauded by Kavitech, a mobile gadget shop endorsed by a popular social media comedian, Bayegun Oluwatoyin, known as Woli Arole.
Even though the comedian later withdrew his support for the brand and tagged it a scam, most of his followers, who saw the endorsement on his page and thought it credible, had already fallen victims.
Fuelled by greed
Amid the deluge of tears, lamentation, regrets and desperate cries for help that have flooded the social media, the question that has remained unanswered is why are Nigerians repeatedly falling for the antics of investment scammers?
For Tunmise Akinwunmi, who allegedly lost N3m to the Bamise-led micro lending business, the need to have multiple streams of income due to the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country was responsible.
Most people, who spoke with PUNCH Investigations, said yields on investment from recognised financial institutions had been poor and discouraging, adding that between 10 and 60 per cent offered by the investment schemes was higher than yields in FGN bonds.
Based on reports, FGN bonds due for maturity by January 27, 2022 have 4.04 per cent returns, while the ones due for April 27, 2023 will offer 9.75 per cent return on investment.
According to the CBN Journal of Applied Statistics in a report titled, ‘Impact of the 2007/2008 Global Financial Crisis on the Stock Market in Nigeria,’ the prolonged downturn in the capital market induced by significant divestment by foreign investors and compounded by lingering liquidity tightness, waning public confidence, and panic selling by domestic investors had led to significant losses by investors.
The report noted that the stock market, which remained bullish between December 2005 and March 2008, suddenly became bearish in April 2008 and had remained nearly so since then with only marginal recovery.
However, financial analysts disagreed with Nigerians using low yield on investments in registered and recognised financial institutions as reasons for embracing fraudulent investment schemes, insisting that their quest was driven purely by greed.
They maintained that as long as Nigerians were driven by inordinate ambition to get rich quickly without putting in extra work, promoters of such schemes would continue to defraud millions of investors.
According to the stockbroker, Adeshina, Nigeria has a regulated capital market, where things are set up in a systematic manner.
He said those who get involved in schemes unapproved by the CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission, were doing so at their own expense.
“These investment platforms are not covered by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and so basically, they are not to be encouraged. We are in a developing nation where the market is packed full of distortions and imperfections,” he added.
The NDIC on its website stated that it was primarily established to “protect depositors and contribute to the stability of the financial system through effective supervision of insured institutions, provision of financial/technical assistance to eligible insured institutions, prompt payment of guaranteed sums and orderly resolution of failed insured financial institutions.”
Reacting to claims by a section of the public that the RoI offered by the regulated market was meagre, Adeshina said it all boiled down to risks and returns.
“If people put their money in a risky investment that is not regulated, they will have to bear the brunt. What type of business will you transact in this economy to earn 10 per cent or 20 per cent interest rate? That is fraud ab initio. Those going into it do so based on greed,” he said.
Corroborating Adeshina’s stance, the Head of Retail and Investment, Chapel Hill Denham, Ayodeji Ebo, said greed and knowledge gap made people to consistently fall for fraudulent investment schemes.
He noted that it was disheartening to see people trying to earn unrealistic income on their investments, lamenting that even finance professionals, who presumably should know better, were being caught in the web.
Ebo said, “You won’t be surprised that a lot of people in the financial space also do it and they know that it could crash, but everybody is just trying to take a gamble.
“They know it is unrealistic but will want to take a chance. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. We can say people want to make ends meet because of inflation and the dire state of the economy, but they don’t think about the risk of losing their money. Yet, if another scheme comes out, people will still flock there.”
Further analysing how greed plays a major role, Olatunji Aje of Pyramid Stockbrokers said many Nigerians desired to invest N10 in a business and get N500 the following week, adding, “So greed is one of the main things that propels this. However, it is not bad to take a risk, but if it is a well regulated market, there would have been checks and balances.
“A sane person will not invest in such schemes. There is no way you can use N5 to get N500 within a month. It is not possible. Nigerians like deceit and want what will make them become millionaires overnight and at the end of the day, they get their fingers burnt. That explains why many people fall victim. Some also fall victim out of ignorance.”
Aje explained that the capital market was well regulated and that no one could suddenly decide to raise money out of nowhere.
He said, “The capital market, which is a regulated market, is like a barometer that measures the performance of the economy of a country. The money and capital markets work inversely, or are inversely related. If the interest rate goes up in the money market, people will move to the money market and there will be bearish movement in stocks and the performance of the capital market. And when the interest rate in the money market drops, the capital market appreciates; they are like words and opposite.
“It depends on how the economy of a country is for it to attract foreign investors. If they can do their due diligence, they can attract foreign investors and there will be appreciation in the capital market. It has to do with the forces of demand and supply and other factors like speculation, market information and micro economic factors like the interest rate.
“These investment schemes you are referring to now are like the Nigerian MMM and are not regulated. In some of the financial institutions, before you can raise capital, there are requirements and you must follow due process.”
The Managing Director, Cowry Assets, Johnson Chukwu attributed the development to poverty and insatiable appetite for sudden wealth fuelled by religious beliefs. “Lack of strong financial knowledge and greed can’t be ruled out,” he added.
He averred that it was not a matter of the regulatory bodies not enforcing regulations, but majorly due to the orientation of Nigerians in terms of faith, which makes them believe that they could become rich overnight, either through prayers or miracles.
Chukwu said, “Nigerians see Ponzi schemes as opportunities for enrichment. We have a culture that has allowed people to move away from the concept of gradual growth into sudden growth. There is no reason for people to believe that they can do a business that can give them 10 per cent interest every month. It doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.
“It’s like common sense has flown out of the window. The major contributory factors are the level of poverty and culture of impunity from people in the public service, a situation where a person that used to beg goes into the public service with a mindset to become rich.”
He added, “The culture that religious organisations preach or values that they espouse are factors that have shifted our morals and values in the country. What we have now is only a culture where people think and plan to get rich quickly. First, these Ponzi schemes and fraudulent investment managers are not recognised and licensed by regulators and operate largely under the radar. Regulators warn people against them and still get them shut down. But people will still go back to another new scheme that has exactly the same attributes as the ones that have failed. So, what is the reason for that?”
Chukwu called for cultural reorientation that would entail having Nigerians return to a culture of value system, where ambitions were moderated by realities, and where people that worked hard would be successful, while those that did not, would fail.
“If you don’t have access to a quick source of income, the likelihood that you will achieve economic fulfilment in life is zero, and that is one of the things that push people to look for quick wins or investments. For them, that is the only route for them to escape from poverty,” he added.
Consumed by greed
The greed factor was presumably feasted on by a company known as Maya Desire, which promised investors 80 per cent RoI or 10 per cent RoI within 40 days.
The company, which advertised itself to the public on social media platforms as a forex and cryptocurrency trading firm, gave an assurance to investors that they would recoup their capital if things went wrong.
That promise was never kept because from August 2020 till date, investors’ funds have yet to be remitted, while the company’s phone numbers have been unreachable.
Similarly, Comfort Ogunlade, founder of Tush Farmer Global Limited, an agricultural investment company in Iwo, Osun State, urged people to invest in the cultivation, harvesting and sale of cucumber, with a promise of 70 per cent profit in five months. That was between 2018 and 2019.
Though the company was alleged to have made about N400m, over 300 investors lost both capital and profit and have yet to get a dime three years after.
While it was alleged that members of two prominent churches like Christ Embassy and Daystar Christian Centre had their fingers badly burnt through MBA Trading and Capital Investment Limited founded by Maxwell Odum, Elevation Church, Lekki, and managers of commercial banks were also alleged to have lost big time to Bamise’s Imagine Global Limited.
To clear the air concerning its involvement, the Elevation Church issued a statement denying that it was an investor in Bamise’s company. It insisted that there was no iota of truth in the speculations and urged members of the public to disregard the report.
The church stated, “It is in view of the foregoing that we refute in its entirety the publication that the church has any business interest or investment in Imagine Global Solutions Ltd.”
SEC, CBN alleged inaction wreaked victims
Obiora Okoro, a retiree and victim of Sam Afolabi’s Eatrich Farms scheme, said in as much as he invested due to the desire to make good money effortlessly, SEC and CBN cannot be absolved of the blame.
“They allowed these scammers to operate and wreak lives. They have an oversight function to perform by ensuring proper monitoring of investment schemes and money managers. Losing one million naira out of my retirement benefit has drained me of the will to live,” he lamented.
Like Okoro, other victims are of the opinion that the two financial regulators failed in their duties.
This could be seen in the case of Imagine Global. Based on reports, Bamise operated a subsidiary company, TFS Finance Limited, which was a CBN regulated finance company. It was primarily licensed to undertake the business of advancing short-term loan facility, loan to finance local purchase order, leasing for individual and corporate bodies.
Bamise claimed that the IMG business model was based on TFS Finance Ltd 4 key metrics. However, since the bubble burst on the scheme, CBN has not categorically issued any statement on the status of the licensed micro-lending institution.
Statutorily, the SEC is a regulatory body that approves schemes that solicits funds from members of the public and is empowered to investigate any of such firms that appears shady.
While speaking to our correspondent, most investors said they became convinced, especially to invest in a company like MBA Trading, after it was presented to the public as duly registered with the CBN and SEC.
Aggrieved investors claimed that SEC could not be absolved of blame as it did not take precautionary measures or punitive steps against the company, even after issuing a public disclaimer to distance itself from its activities.
Onyia who lost N60m to Bamise said, “I was not greedy to have invested in the company owned by Bamise. Losing N60m is no joke. I had a mindset to leave a positive footprint by using my money to uplift the downtrodden,”
For a journalist that claimed to have lost N2m to another investment platform, the rationale for registering financial companies without proper verification or follow-up must be questioned.
He said, “Several of them have been in operation and nothing seems to have been done to curtail their activities. Why does the Corporate Affairs Commission register these companies without following up to find out what they are actually into? Several Nigerians are suicidal at this point in time.”
MBA Trading and Capital Investment Limited, was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering of the EFCC.
Copies of the certificates were uploaded to the company’s Facebook page on October 3, 2020.
However, in trying to absolve itself of complicity, SEC in a statement released in May 2021, warned Nigerians against investing in the MBA Forex scheme after protesting investors demanded the refund of their investments, arrest and prosecution of the management team members of the scheme.
The SEC’s Head of Investigation and Enforcement, Port Harcourt, Suzzie Enebeli, noted that MBA Forex had been illegally operating in Nigeria and that the scheme was denied registration by the commission following its failure to meet the requirements.
Enebeli, “MBA Forex has never been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They tried to get registered with us, but failed to meet our registration requirements. As a matter of fact, MBA Forex is one of those market operators, who were illegal and were listed on our website. MBA Forex has been on the SEC website for over a year with a warning sounded to the general public to beware. So, it has never been registered with the SEC.”
Subtle validation by the authorities
PUNCH Investigations gathered that the alleged fraudulent investment schemes might have been further emboldened by subtle backings from government agencies.
The Chairman, Anti-Corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit, Presidential Villa, Alhaji Ahmad Sulaiman, in a report published by a national newspaper (not PUNCH) on August 20, 2019 described MBA Forex and Capital Investment Limited as “credible and ethical entities.”
He said this while speaking at the company’s ‘Bare2Blue Revolution’ business banquet held in Lagos.
Sulaiman said, “They (MBA) have come to us and we have assessed them. They want to be an advocate of not only the business they are doing, but the anti-corruption and transparency drive of this government.
“They wrote to us and we assessed them. We asked them to go through the ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) to train their staff members; they’ve also registered with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Consumer Protection Council and other regulatory agencies. When we assessed them, we realised they are credible, ethical and want to do serious business tailored to the policy of the current administration.”
Sulaiman also said MBA Forex, having been certified by the necessary regulatory agencies in Nigeria, unlike other companies before it, was not a Ponzi scheme.
He noted that MBA’s modus operandi was in tandem with the anti-corruption and transparency drive of the current administration, adding, “Unlike before when we had the MMM and other Ponzi schemes, MBA have shown seriousness and they are doing things differently and that is why we are here today in support of their business.”
PUNCH Investigations learnt that this subtle backing turned out to be the greatest referral and a magic wand that turned the forex trading platform into a money milking machine as people invested massively in the scheme
Speaking on the role of regulatory agencies, the financial analyst, Ebo, said SEC and the CBN could not be aware of all the activities of investment scammers, noting that they could only be discovered when members of the public complain or write to them.
“People just register companies and hide under them to carry out such illegal activities. The regulators need to do more financial tracing. However, there is also a limit to what you can do to people’s greed. People can be insatiable when it comes to finance.” he added.
Ebo insisted that banks had roles to play in checking the activities of fraudulent investment operators, stressing that it was easier for financial institutions to discover such entities.
He stated, “Banks should get to know and understand what their customers are doing and ask questions. They should do what is called know your customers and carry out due diligence. If someone has a certain unusual amount of money or cash flow, they should find out the type of business the person is doing. They can make a regulatory report in terms of suspicious transactions.’’
How to identify Ponzi schemes, illegal finance managers
Ebo said for individuals to know if an investment was fraudulent, there was a need to find out the current average rate of RoI obtainable, noting that people could use fixed income rates as a gauge.
“If it is significantly higher, it is a red flag. If anybody is promising you a guaranteed return and it’s not fixed income, then you should run, because it is a red flag. If it’s not fixed income, it cannot be guaranteed.
“Even fixed income mutual fund is not guaranteed. I said fixed income because if you buy the instrument directly, it is guaranteed because you know what you are getting and fixed deposits too are guaranteed,” the expert explained.
He also advised Nigerians to carry out due diligence on companies they intend to invest in, ensure they have track records and duly registered.
Ebo, however, said registration was not the only sufficient requirement to ascertain an investment scheme authenticity, adding, “There is a need to confirm if it had been in existence and find out those running the business. Find out if they are experienced and about their activities in the past. These are some of the things that will help people to discover if they are investment fraud.
“Individuals should also note that once questions are asked about a company and those behind it try to struggle to explain how they make income in five minutes and it is incomprehensible, then, it is too complex.
“What these people do is to come up with complex structures that people don’t really understand. If you are going to invest and they make efforts to explain and you still don’t understand how they make money or how the business runs, then you should back out immediately.”
The analyst said though fraudulent investment schemes could not be fully regulated, there were laws under which they could be prosecuted.
He stated, “There is a law that says if you are ready to offer any investment product to the public, it has to be registered with the SEC. It is based on this that anyone caught can be prosecuted.
“You cannot make an investment public if it has not been duly registered. If it is a private investment, you can. It means that you would discuss with people one-on-one and there is a limit to the number of investors. It can’t be thousands of investors and you say it is private.”
On the number of fraudulent investment operators that had been prosecuted so far, Ebo said quite a number of them had been sent to jail, adding that since they were not popular, there was the likelihood that people would not remember them.
He, however, said there was more to be done in the area of arrest and prosecution to serve as a deterrent.
Adeshina on his part advised Nigerians to find out if a business platform was registered or approved by the regulatory bodies before investing.
Sharing his reservation about complete regulation, he said Nigeria was a large economy, stating that nothing could be done to stop such investment platforms from springing up.
“Even outside the country, there are fraudulent investment schemes. It is left for people to be able to control their greed and measure their risk appetite. There is no business that will give you 30 per cent RoI. People looking for such to invest in are not only greedy, but are not measuring their risk appetite,” Adeshina said.
SEC, CBN subtle on sanctions
The stockbroker, Aje, said if SEC and the CBN had lived up to their responsibilities, the latest scamming of Nigerians would not have happened.
He stated, “They have not been penalising them. The last thing you will hear is that the EFCC has arrested some people and in the next three weeks, those people are back on the street. The MMM scammed people of billions of naira. It is not a new thing, but it is the primary assignment of the CBN and not even SEC.
“SEC acts as a regulator and registers all these companies. When they register and don’t do follow-up, the companies just run their activities and anything can happen. All we need is serious supervision. If they have a reliable government and serious supervision, it can only be reduced, it can’t be stopped.
“Nigerians should as a precautionary measure, carry out due diligence when a business or investment is introduced to them. Nigerians don’t do that. They are more after the benefits and what they can get in the next two to three months,” he added.
Victims vulnerable to mental illness, says psychologist
A clinical psychologist in Lagos, Dr Ayodeji Nathaniel, said that victims of fraudulent investment schemes were vulnerable to mental illness.
He noted that investing in Ponzi schemes cannot be entirely blamed on greed, but on apprehension associated with an uncertain future and the need to survive.
Nathaniel stated, “For some people, once such a business opportunity presents itself, they would want to outsmart others. It’s all about survival for them. Meanwhile, some would approach such business with critical thinking, by weighing possible positive and negative outcomes. They clarify and validate facts before investing.’’
He said the psychological implication of losing funds varies in individuals and dependent on the level of involvement.
He added, “Naturally, anyone that loses money would be unhappy but the degree of investment will determine the impact on emotions and feelings and at the end of the day, the person might become psychologically traumatised. Coping scheme also differs. Those who have low coping mechanisms are more vulnerable and would become anxious or stressed.
“This can trigger other psychological problems like anxiety, which might lead to guilt feeling and depression. Some might find it difficult to open up and might struggle to forgive themselves for falling victims. This inability to forgive can cause them to become emotionally drained and gradually, it might lead to mental illness.”
We look into credible investment fraud allegation, Police SFU
The Public Relations Officer, Police Special Fraud Unit in Lagos, DSP Eyitayo Johnson, said the police have zero tolerance when it comes to any type of crime.
Johnson stated, “Our mandate, according to the constitution and police act, is to investigate all crimes. Once a case of investment fraud is reported and we carry out investigations and it becomes clear that the allegation is justified, we will look into it. Not all complaints that come to us are credible. This is why we don’t act on certain frivolous allegations. We need to be sure that an allegation is accurate, or else, there will be fundamental human rights infringement.
No response from SEC, CBN and EFCC
When contacted, the spokesperson for the SEC, Efe Ebelo, said she needed approval to respond to questions sent to her by our correspondent. This was days after calls were made to her mobile.
Text messages were sent to the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, but he declined to comment after warning our correspondent not to bother him again.
All messages sent to the two regulatory agencies to clear the air on issues bordering on proper monitoring and regulation of investment schemes, protocols adopted for registration and what was being done in terms of sanctions were not replied as of press time.
The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, promised to get back to our correspondent, but he had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.
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