By Emeka Mamah
Enugu—The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested the Managing Director of a “wonder bank” in Enugu for allegedly defrauding its customers about N4 billion.
Sources close to the commission in Enugu said that the Managing Director of the “bank,” known as Lets Partner with You, Chief Patrick Shanchi Nwokike was arrested at his Enugu residence on Thursday, September 6, following hundreds of petitions from defrauded customers across the country.
The sources said that thousands of customers of the wonder bank were defrauded adding that the petitions cut, across “religion, gender, ethnic and economic social class, indicating that the company had over the past five years solicited and obtained deposits of more than N4 billion from the public with promise of mouth- watering interest in return.”
It was said that investigations conducted by the Commission, showed that the company has no license to solicit and manage funds for the public nor was it registered with Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC or the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company, NDIC.
Further investigations showed that a 10 percent interest was for some time paid on invested capital which was suddenly stopped even as all efforts by depositors to have at least the capital of their investments returned nor terminate their investments proved abortive.
According to the EFCC sources, many of the complainants alleged that the operators of the scheme especially, Chief Nwokike not only lived very flamboyant lifestyles but acquired several personal assets, apart from using their deposits for philanthropic enterprises.
The company was also found to have over six accounts in about four banks with the CEO of “Lets Partner With You Ltd” and his wife being the only signatories.
However, Nwokike was alleged to have acknowledged the receipt of about N4 billion depositors’ funds with his company but denied operating both money lending and investment business as alleged by the petitioners.
He reportedly stated in his statement with the EFCC that his company was into partnership business which received “money from interested customers who desired interest from their money after it might have been infused into businesses especially that of small scale traders.
Meanwhile, investigation was still on-going to ascertain the extent of the company’s operations, its culpability, likely recovery of funds and possible prosecution.