A financial outfit operating under the guise of an empowerment program by President Muhammadu Buhari has defrauded villagers of over N50million in Agyaragu area of Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, DAILY NIGERIAN learned.
Our correspondent gathered that most of the fraud victims were petty traders and housewives who depended on their low-income earnings for a living.
One of the victims, a 35-year-old mother of six, Rabi Hassan told DAILY NIGERIAN that she had lost over N300,000 to the fraudulent scheme.
The women stated that she would likely commit suicide for losing the said amount which, according to her, was meant for her younger sister’s wedding.
“I will drink sniper and die because I don’t know how to raise the money for my sister’s wedding,” she stated.
“They deceived us that it is empowerment from President Buhari government to assist us, but after two months they disappeared and never came back.”
The mother of six further explained that the swindlers promised 10% profit weekly to everyone that invested in the business.
Another victim, Usman Azige, a motorcycle spare part dealer, told DAILY NIGERIAN that he had lost N3million to the swindlers within two weeks.
Mr Azige said he joined the business because he believed that the authorities are aware of the existence of the outfit, “because they went around the town to mobilize potential investors”.
“We have reported the matter to the police and we are hopeful they will come to our aid,” Mr Azige added.
When our correspondent visited the office of the alleged swindlers along Agyaragu Main Market in Lafia, he met the office under lock and key.
It was later learned that they had since relocated to another unknown area.
Speaking with the owner of the property housing the alleged swindler’s office, Baba Gwamnati, said he had since given out the office apartment to another person, after noticing that the owner of the alleged financial outfit had since abandoned the property.
“Their rent has not expired. They paid for one year and had barely spent two months and left and so I decided to give the place out to another person,” Mr Gwamnati said.
The Traditional Ruler of the area, the Zhe Migili, Dr. Ayuba Agwadu said that he had directed the owners of outfit to the police for clearance when they came to his palace a few months ago but never heard of them again.
Usman Adamu, an opinion leader and stakeholder in the area who confirmed the development, said that over100 people were defrauded by the fraudsters.
“It is unfortunate that at this age people still believe in quick money and landed in the hands of this ungodly people,” he regretted.
Checks by DAILY NIGERIAN revealed that the alleged scammers operated under the company name of Vission Image Multipurpose Services which was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, in 2011.