Many women and men broke down on Tuesday in Ogun State and wept as if their hearts were breaking after discovering that the money invested in an investment firm, Legend Empowerment Services, hoping it will triple within three weeks, went up in a cloud of smoke.
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), a Superintendent of Police (SP), Omolola Odutola, who confirmed the incident, said that Police were yet to determine the number of victims affected in the scam.
She also stated that all attempts to arrest the owner of Legend Empowerment Services, identified as Mr. Lawal Akinwale, who is the brain behind the scheme have been abortive. She however added that the Police would not give up on hunting for him.
Odutola said that the victims or investors patronized Legend Empowerment Services after the firm came up with a mouth-watering scheme, that if they invested a certain amount of money, it will be multiplied within three weeks.
The firm promised the investors that if they invested N8000, they would get N50,000, and if they invested a mere N16,000, they will be receiving N100,000 within weeks. This offer caused many of them to rush in droves to invest their trading money.
She explained that the Police got wind of the incident on the 20th of June 2023, following a rancorous outcry from Oke Itoku Market women, traders, and petty entrepreneurs who had gathered in an unspecified number, shouting, and crying over their investments.
Odutola said that it was because of the outcry that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Oke-Itoku, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Hadiza Abu Oganyi, swung into action, determined to get to the root of the alleged scam.
Odutola explained further: “The incident has to do with a Digital Loan Company, known as Legend Empowerment Services, which is yet to be ascertained whether it is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission or not.
“However, according to information before the DPO, the complainants (victims) invested their money into Legend Empowerment Services. For instance, one Morenikeji Ogunniyi invested N48,000, Abosede Aremu invested N45,000, Idiatu Adeogun invested N31,000 and there is also one Saheed Sufian, among others.”
The image manager, who said that the investors jumped on the offer without proper verification, added that though police were yet to arrest Akinwale the owner of the investment firm, they were able to arrest some of his workers, adding that they were presently being interrogated.
She further explained that a preliminary investigation exposed Legend Empowerment Services as having employed Adedayo Omolola and Adedayo Tosin without giving them letters of employment.
These two staff of Legend Empowerment Services are part of suspects in police custody. Tosin got employed two weeks ago, while Omolola got employed two months ago.
Omolola, while fielding questions from the police, said her designation in the firm was that of a secretary, adding that they were six staff, including marketers. She said that Tosin holds the position of a supervisor in the firm.
Odutola noted: “The owner of Legend Empowerment Services, Lawal Akinwale, was contacted by phone, but his number is suspected to have been restricted on flight mode and consequently not reachable. As soon as the Police get across to him, he will be invited for questioning.”
While warning Ogun State citizens to be wary of investment firms, Odutola said that most of them were frauds.
She said: “The Ogun State Police Command is hereby advising citizens not to fall for digital money lenders schemes and money doublers. Members of the public and interested parties are hereby entreated to support and cooperate with the investigation team in this ongoing investigation.”
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