Scores of victims of a forex firm, MBA Trading and Capital Investment Limited picketed the Christ Embassy Church located on Peter Odili Road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Sunday.
The protesters numbering over 50 said they invested various sums of money in the company with a promise to get their payment, but two years after, nothing has been heard from the company’s Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Maxwell Odum.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had declared the company’s Maxwell Oko wanted for alleged fraud in 2021, following a petition it received from the victims who stormed its premises to protest and demand the former’s arrest.
The protesters, including women, said they were going through untold hardship and suffering since the company allegedly collapsed, saying some of them had died from depression, while some had been evicted from their houses due to their inability to pay rent.
The protesters, under the aegis of ‘victims of MBA forex fraud’ gathered at the road leading to the church with placards chanting songs to drive home their demands, saying, ‘Maxwell Odum pay us our money.’
However, a mild drama occurred while they marched towards the church as a team of policemen stopped them from going further, but irked by their presence, the protesters raised their voices and continued singing.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, ‘My hard-earned money should not be your tithe’, ‘Maxwell, when will your stories expire?’ ‘Maxwell, I can’t feed well again because of you,’ ‘Our children are driven out of school for lack of school fees.’
Others were: ‘How do you even sleep at night?’ ‘Stop fraud, pay us our money. Investors are in pains,’ and many more. This was as the policemen blocked them with three patrol vans while some officials of the church trooped out to know what the situation was.
READ ALSO: Man In Court Over Alleged $42,500 Fraud
Speaking to newsmen, the leader of the protest, Christian Agadaga, said they were in the church to register their grievances because the failed firm’s boss, Odum was a member of the Christ Embassy.
Agadaga said, “Victims of the MBA forex fraud have assembled at Christ Embassy Church at Odili Road in Port Harcourt today to register our displeasure and to say how we feel.
“Our pain, agony, and our calamities are because of just one man, Odum, who defrauded Nigerians who invested in his company to the tune of N213 billion.
“He promised to pay the returns on our investment but today, he is nowhere to be found,” he alleged.
Continuing, Agadaga said, “While we were trying to recover from the shock for over two years now, recently, the EFCC has declared three persons wanted. From our findings, these persons are all members and workers of this church, Christ Embassy.
“We have come here to let the leadership of the church know our pains. We want to use this opportunity to appeal to the founder of this church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, a man we have seen for some time now, who doesn’t tolerate misconduct.
“For him (Oyakhilome) to have, some days ago, suspended his relation from all church activities over an action he didn’t find pleasing, shows the kind of person he is.
“We are appealing to him to immediately reveal the hiding places of these persons, declare wanted those that are members and part of his church to the EFCC.
“We cannot take this anymore. Some of us have died. Some are hospitalised. Few of us that are still alive are not sure of tomorrow. Many of us are homeless as a result of this fraud meted out on us by pastors of Christ Embassy.”
He added, “Now, we are asking our money as victims whose money has been siphoned, the pastors should return the money now to the EFCC. We cannot tolerate this anymore because we cannot continue to die in silence. We must take our money back.”
The PUNCH reports that he also gave a five-point demand to the EFCC to apprehend all those allegedly linked to the fraud.
“We demand that the EFCC launch a full-scale manhunt against all persons declared wanted in connection with the MBA forex fraud and recover all assets belonging to them.
“We demand that all bank managers, directors and members of staff, who aided and abetted all illegal transactions on the MBA forex be made to face the law.
“We demand that the EFCC open all properties so far ceased for the temporary usage of all victims of the MBA forex, pending when the promises made to them are fulfilled.
“Because the MBA forex investors can no longer endure this frustration, we are giving the EFCC 21 working days to immediately swing into action and make sure all those declared wanted are arrested and prosecuted.
“It has taken almost two years and Odum has not been arrested. We demand that the EFCC show sincerity in this fight by declaring a reward to any person, group or institution across the world with information that could lead to his arrest,” he stated.
But speaking to our correspondent, an official of the church, who did not want his name in print, expressed sadness that the protesters would come to disrupt ongoing service.
“Why would they bring their protest to the temple of God? This is a church. It is completely unacceptable. This is sacrilege,” he said.
Police Arrest Suspected Bayelsa Kidnap Kingpin
Detectives from the Bayelsa State Police Command have arrested a suspected kidnap kingpin identified as John Ewa, who had been on the wanted list of the police for various alleged abductions in the state.
It was learnt that the police operatives trailed Ewa, who goes by the alias ‘Lion’, to Abuja where they nabbed him on Saturday.
The suspect, who flaunts wealth on social media, is believed to be involved in several kidnap incidents around Yenagoa, the state capital.
In a six-second clip that trended on social media at the weekend, Ewa, dressed in his pyjamas, was seen displaying few notes of foreign currency saying, “Get money for this life, hustle, hustle.”
However, another video of his arrest also surfaced at the weekend on social media.
In the 1:05-minute clip, a sobbing Ewa was seen wearing only pants, kneeling on the ground with his hands handcuffed, and apparently responding to questions by officers.
He said, “Please, forgive me. My wife just born sef.”
The voice of one of his victims, Danjuma, was also heard saying he identified the suspect when he and his gang members kidnapped him.
When contacted, the spokesman for the state Police Command, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the arrest of Ewa.
He said, “We are going to issue a statement tomorrow (Monday) or parade the suspect.”
Police Arrest 84-year-old Man For Allegedly Defiling Minor
The operatives of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested one 84-year-old Stephen Jack for allegedly defiling an eight-year-old girl (name withheld).
The state Public Relations Officer, SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement issued on Saturday in Abeokuta.
Oyeyemi said the octogenarian who resides at Okun Owa area of Ijebu Ode was arrested following a report lodged at Obalende divisional headquarters.
He said the girl’s father had told the police he discovered that his daughter was bleeding from her private part.
According to Oyeyemi, the father said when he asked the little girl why she was bleeding, she informed him that the suspect had sex with her.
Oyeyemi said the DPO Obalende division, Murphy Salami, immediately detailed his detectives to the scene, where the “randy old man” was apprehended.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the old man is a known pedophile in the area,” he said.
Oyeyemi said the victim had been taken to the General Hospital Ijebu Ode for medical treatment.
He quoted the Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, to have directed the transfer of the suspect to State Criminal Investigation Departments for more investigation and possible prosecution.
68-year-old Man Allegedly Defiles Minor, Remanded In Prison
A 68-year-old man, Ayodele Faremi, has been remanded in prison for allegedly defiling a 10-year-old girl in Osogbo, capital of Osun State.
Faremi was arrested on Sunday after the case was reported to Dada Estate police station, Osogbo.
DAILY POST gathered that one Folashade Ashafa revealed that her sister’s child (name withheld) was allegedly defiled when she was nine-years-old by Faremi.
This medium further gathered that the suspects also continued having carnal knowledge of her twice in the month of May and one time in the month of August 2022.
It was also learnt that the 68-year-old man always gives a particular drug to the underage to drink whenever he finishes his indecent act.
Meanwhile, Faremi was charged to Magistrate Court on Monday with three count charges.
The offence allegedly committed is punishable under Section 31(1)(2), 32 and 360 of the Child’s Rights law of Osun State 2007.
The Magistrate, O.A Daramola ordered the remand of the suspect in prison and adjourned the case till October 25
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