After studying computer science at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, Emmanuel Oluwatobi Jolayemi, 24, established a foreign exchange (forex) trading platform called Provest Hub in 2020.
Provest Hub did not just have direct investors in a few months, but also affiliates that had investors put money into the business through them.
Most of his affiliates were old friends from school and members of the church he attended. Business blossomed from 2020 to early 2021 and the investors, who were promised monthly returns of 25 percent, got paid regularly.
In April however, things went sideways for the investment.
AN INVESTOR WHO TOOK FAMILY MEMBERS IN
“I became an investor through one of Jolayemi’s course mates back then at MAPOLY. The course mate worked in the capacity of an affiliate for him. After my interaction with the affiliate, I decided to do my own background check on the company. When I saw that it was duly registered, I decided to invest N500,000.
“I received ROI in the first three months after investing. The company also gained my trust to the point that I recommended it to my family members. In the end, my family invested a total sum of N8 million,” an investor, who asked not to be named, told FIJ.
The investor said trouble started when his wife, who also invested in the company, did not get her ROI in April as promised.
AN INVESTOR WITH STATISTICS AND ESTIMATES
FIJ spoke with another investor who simply identified as Franca.
“I initially started with N700,000 in 2020,” said Franca. “When I saw that the company was effective in the payment of ROI, I increased my capital to N3 million. I, however, regretted that move when, in April, the company stopped paying investors. Jolayemi’s claim was that he ran into a huge loss while trading.”
The female investor told FIJ that Jolayemi had fifteen affiliates working for him.
“There was an affiliate I knew that had a portfolio of N800 million. Another one had N250 million. The company had close to 3,000 investors, and from my estimation, Jolayemi has scammed N4 billion from us,” she said.
JOLAYEMI COMMUNICATES FROM HIDING
After failing to pay his investors in April, Jolayemi’s personal and office phone lines became unreachable. He also deactivated the comments section of his company’s Instagram account.
This forced investors to storm his residence at Olusegun Obasanjo Hilltop GRA, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State, but he was nowhere to be found.
The investors also took the search to Jolayemi’s father’s residence in the Alagbado area of Lagos, but were shocked in the end, when they saw that the house was under lock and key.
On May 7, Jolayemi sent a no-reply email to his affiliates and direct investors, with a promise that he would return 65 percent of each investor’s capital in six months.
“On November, he came up with a statement claiming he had commenced repayment. Investors asked one another if they had received any payment, but no one could confirm the claim. This means he did not really pay anyone,” an investor said.
INVESTORS PETITIONED EFCC
With no hope of getting their money back, the investors decided to report the incident to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) office in Ibadan.
“After we wrote a petition against him and submitted it at the EFCC Ibadan, we were summoned just once by the officials for further questioning. But after the invitation, nothing more has been heard from the commission about the case. As we speak, the six months grace Jolayemi asked for has expired and I am not even sure he is ever going to make any payment,” an investor said.
FIJ made calls to the helpline of the EFCC Ibadan office and the phone numbers on Provest Hub’s website. While calls to the EFCC were not answered, Provest’s line was unavailable. Text messages sent to both were not responded to.
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