In January, Mariam Omayoza Suleiman, the owner and Managing Director of Famzhi Interbiz Ltd., a multipurpose business and investment outfit, appeared on an Abuja radio and television programme called Berekete Family to make an appeal to her more than 15,000 investors over her company’s inability to honour the payment of the agreed Return on Investment (ROI).
During the programme, Omayoza said her company had not been able to pay the majority of her investors since April 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19, and promised to refund all investors by June.
According to her, the company would employ all alternatives, including selling its properties, to pay back investors’ money. However, none of the investors has received the promised capital.
‘IT IS A MULTIBILLION NAIRA INVESTMENT‘
“It was when the company was introduced to me in January 2020 that I got to know that they had been in existence since 2016. The ROI was between 10 and 20 percent, depending on what was agreed with the company,” said an investor who simply identified as Hassanah.
“I was told that they were into poultry, animal husbandry, water production, real estates and micro banking,”
She told FIJ that she invested N800,000 and received the promised ROI for January, February and March 2020.
“In April 2020, the company stopped paying investors. They blamed it on the outbreak of Corona Virus. Since then, they have continued to promise and fail. When the woman (Suleiman) came on a show in January, she said she would pay us in June. Till now, not a single Kobo has been paid to anyone,” she said.
MULTI BILLION NAIRA INVESTMENT WITH OVER 15,000 INVESTORS
“I invested N2 million in the company. My best friend, whom I introduced the business to, invested N6 million. We actually both invested in late March 2020, with the hope of getting ROIs starting from April 2020. Unfortunately, we have not received any payment,” said an investor who asked not to be named.
Just like Hassanah, the investor said the reason Famzhi Interbiz gave for the financial crisis was the pandemic.
“Before now, we used to have a Telegram group chat that showed that the company had over 15,000 aggrieved investors. It is actually a multibillion Naira investment,” he explained.
THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION’S DENUNCIATION
On December 18 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission discredited the activities of Famzhi Interbiz Ltd., warning the general public that the company’s business activities and products were not registered and regulated by the commission.
The commission further stated that although Famzhi Interbiz’s earlier applied to its office, the company has failed to meet up with registration requirements.
SEC also alleged that the company has continued to solicit funds illegally from unsuspecting investors through its numerous unregistered and unapproved business products.
CURRENT STATUS OF FAMZHI
“The most criminal aspect of this whole issue was that despite its inability to pay investors in April 2020, Famzhi still accommodated new investors, promising a reduced interest rate of five percent,”said the second investor.
“Presently, no one can tell whether we will ever recover our capital from the company. Their office located in Kubwa, Abuja, is closed, and all their office lines are never reachable.”
He also said that the whereabouts of Mariam Omayoza Suleiman remain unknown to all investors.
“We don’t even know if she has fled the country or if she is still very much around. No one has got any update,” he added.
FIJ made several calls to the company’s phone numbers, but they were unreachable. Messages sent were also not responded to.
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