Despite several awareness programmes and anti-fraud initiatives put together in the past by private and government institutions, Nigerians have continued to fall prey to their multi-billion naira schemes.
Like them, FIJ continues to publish numerous fraud stories in order to expose these fraudsters while also sensitising the general public on their modus operandi.
On FIJ’s second anniversary, we present you the 10 top scam stories out of the 128 published between January 20, 2022 and now.
TOBI IFABIYI OF FABZ CAPITAL (N80M)
In February 2022, Tobi Ifabiyi, the owner of Fabz Capital, an Abuja-based forex trading company, introduced his investors to a mouth-watering venture.
While selling his product to the investors, he promised them that the investment cycles would fetch them as much as 100 percent Return On Investment (ROI) upon maturity, and depending on the agreement signed.
He also assured the investors that their capitals were safe because Fabz Capital had a capital reserve that could be used in bailing the company out in the event of any financial loss while trading.
When trading started in full swing, Ifabiyi was initially able to pay the investors their capitals and ROIs on maturity dates.
In the end, however, the investment crumbled. With this, he could no longer make good his promise and the investors ended up losing over N80 million to him.
FARMFUND’S AGROPARTNERSHIPS (BILLIONS OF NAIRA)
In April 2022, FIJ published a story on how hundreds of investors lost several billions of naira to Agropartnerships, an agricultural investment platform powered by Farmforte, a parent company owned by the duo of Osayi Osazuwa and Uyi Osayimwense.
While rolling out its investment plans, Agropartnerships promised its investors various ROIs on a wide range of products portfolios such as the Poultry 02 plan, Food Valley investment and Cashew Value Chain.
Trouble started when, in January 2022, the platform was unable to pay its thousands of investors the regular ROI it used to pay them. Amid growing discontent among the investors, the company released a statement blaming its challenges on the the Covid-19 pandemic. It went further to claim that the pandemic had crippled its business activities.
Finally, Agropartnerships promised the investors that repayment would recommence soon.
However, two months later, the platform’s investors’ hopes of a possible repayment were dealt a devastating blow when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Agropartnerships’ office was one of those sealed for carrying out investment operations that fell within the ambit of “fund management without registration”.
Presently, Agropartnerships has continued to sit on several billions of naira belonging to thousands of investors.
MARKSMAN IJIOMAH’S CHINMARK GROUP (BILLIONS OF NAIRA)
In March 2022, the story of Chinmark Group, an Enugu State-based “business development company”, was published.
While encouraging prospective investors to invest in the many portfolios the company had on offer, Marksman Chinedu Ijiomah, CEO, Chinmark Group, promised them a staggering 70 per cent ROI.
He would eventually attract over 5,000 investors through his irresistible offer.
The narrative later changed when the SEC described the company as an “illegal operator”. The commission also made it clear that the businesses and the investment scheme being promoted by the company were also unauthorised.
After making several repayment promises and failing, the investors lost billions of naira in terms of their various capitals to Ijiomah.
It also later emerged that Ijiomah had once been arrested for fraud in 2015.
OVAIOZA FARM PRODUCE STORAGE BUSINESS (OFPSB)
Also, in April 2022, FIJ reported the fraudulent activities of Imu Ovaioza Yunusa, founder and CEO of Ovaioza Farm Produce Storage Business (OFPSB).
Through OFPSB, Ovaioza swindled her investors of several billions of naira.
To win her investors’ trust, Ovaioza would periodically take to acts of ‘Virtue Signalling’, releasing well-articulated quotes that preached love, kindness, hardwork and sincerity.
She also courted social media influencers like Ada Ujaligwa, Lami Tanko, Okafor Christabel, Nwa Okpokpo and Gail Chukwu huge so they could promote her business.
Apart from the “Giveaways” she usually did on her social media profiles, Ovaioza also released a few gospel albums just to make her investors and followers see her “spiritual side”.
With time, OFPSB’s food storage crowdfunding business attracted thousands of investors who put billions of naira in it.
It later turned out that Ovaioza was not the “reliable” business owner she made her investors see her as.
The SEC would soon reveal to the general public that she ran a business that was not duly registered. She eventually was unable to pay back the investor’s funds that were in her care, thus, forcing them to lose several billions of naira to her.
BARIMIKE LOGISTICS AND NNE ISAAC TRADING (N33.5M)
In November 2022, FIJ reported how Lazarus Obioma, a Nigerian residing in Liberia, lost N33.5 million to two investment deals he had with Barimike Logistics and Nne Isaac Trading, both Nigerian-based companies.
In September 2021, Obioma had invested N5 million with Craig Barisuka, the owner of Barimike Logistics, a Lagos-based company, and N30 million with Anita Christian Ijeoma, the owner of Nne Isaac Trading, a Rivers State-based company.
While Barisuka made an ROI promise of N3 million, Ijeoma made a promise of N3.1 ROI to the Liberia-based investor.
The agreed plan was for Barisuka and Ijeoma to invest Obioma’s capital in forex, agriculture and palm oil trading.
When it was obvious that both Barisuka and Ijeoma had failed to honour the investment agreement signed, and had converted Obioma’s capital to personal use, the investor resolved to negotiating a repayment plan with them.
In the end, he was only able to recover N1.5 million from Barisuka. Both Barisuka and Ijeoma would later flee with the investor’s N33.5 million capital, cutting off all lines of communication that could be used in reaching them.
JENNIFER NYESOME-EFFIONG’S HACHI FARMS
In March 2022, the story of how Hachi Farms, a farm aggregation company owned by Jennifer Nyesome-Effiong, defrauded investors of over N250 million was published.
Nyesome-Effiong, started the business by promising her investors mouth-watering ROIs at the end of every three months.
With time, the investors paid several millions of naira to her in exchange for investment slots in her paddy rice business.
The investors, who were in the hundreds, would later receive a shocker when Nyesome-Effiong suddenly stopped paying them the ROI she promised in August 2021.
After several protests by the investors, she promised to repay them in March 2022, but equally failed to do so.
The investors eventually lost over N250 million to her.
SAM AFOLABI’S EATRICH (BILLIONS OF NAIRA)
Just like Hachi Farms, the fraud perpetrated by Eatrich Farms, an agritech business that digitalizes farming, was made public in March.
Owned by Sam Afolabi, the company convinced thousands of investors to invest huge capitals in Eatrich Farm’s investment plans between 2021 and 2022.
After receiving billions of naira in capital from the unsuspecting investors, Afolabi suddenly stopped paying them the promised ROIs in the last quarter of 2021.
He would eventually disappear with their billions in early 2022. He made his disappearance plan a secret to Timi Afolabi, his younger brother who had no idea of the fraud, allowing him to be arrested and imprisoned, after the matter was reported to the police by the investors.
During the same period, Afolabi obtained a loan of N88 million from banks, using his employees’ accounts without their consent.
He remains in hiding.
ENITAN BELLO’S LET’S FARM (MILLIONS OF NAIRA)
In January 2022, the story of how Enitan Bello, the founder of Let’s Farm, an agro-investment company, stole several millions of naira from unsuspecting investors, was made public.
With an attractive 35 per cent ROI offer, and other claims that assured investors their capitals were safe, Bello swindled his investors through a palm oil processing business he pitched to them.
As time passed, and after collecting several millions of naira from them, Bello failed to make good his promise to repay both the investors’ capitals and ROIs on time.
In the end, Bello pocketed the millions and disappeared without a trace.
CHARLES LAMBERT’S BLACK WALL STREET
In May 2022, FIJ reported how Charles Lambert, an Ugandan, and the owner of Black Wall Street, a company that claimed it rendered Pan-African commerce-related services, defrauded a Nigerian banker of N1 million.
After promising the banker a monthly ROI of N45,500 in 2020, the Ugandan failed to make good his promise for more than two years.
Whenever the banker demanded to know when he would be paid his capital, he received rude responses from Lambert’s company.
Black Wall Street ended up not repaying the investor’s money.
After the story was published by FIJ, Lambert made several attempts, including offering a bribe, in ensuring that the story was taken down from its site.
When the bribery attempt did not work, he reached out to Digital Ocean, an American cloud infrastructure provider, to cut FIJ off it’s web hosting service if the piece in question was not taken down. Lambert made a spurious copyright infringement allegation against FIJ, but as soon as the spurious claim issue was resolved, FIJ republished the story.
BRAD E-COMMERCE (MILLIONS OF NAIRA)
In October 2022, a story exposing how Brad E-commerce Ltd., a platform that once claimed to be a “global provider of marketing solutions”, defrauded many Nigerians of several millions of naira.
After claiming to be a global platform that helped people make money through the use of smartphones, it encouraged interested participants to register officially on its platform before the goodies it promised could be enjoyed.
In the process, several Nigerian participants registered on the country’s platform with sums ranging between N5,000 and N50 million.
After they had registered, the participants were instructed to like certain videos posted on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms.
In exchange, the participants were promised a N75 payment per any task given to them.
In the beginning, Brad paid its participants all they were promised. In September 2022, however, it suddenly stopped payment without giving the participants any concrete reason.
It later turned out that the participants had been defrauded of several millions of naira.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.