“I fell victim of this syndicate in 2007 while I banked with Guarantee Trust Bank, Lokoja, Kogi State. The said Edward Onoja was my account officer. He talked me into removing substantial money from my savings account into the so-called special account with the promise of a lavish monthly interest. He further assured me that my deposit would be repaid on a month’s notice of my intention to collect my deposit. As a guarantee, I insisted that he gave me an undated cheque so that I can present it for payment whenever I intended to claim my deposit. He did gave me a cheque. I found out much later it was all scam”
The storm gathering around the current governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello and his political appointees may not give way any time soon. Reports continue to emerge that raise question on the credibility of the government political appointees and associates.
It would be recalled that Kogi State indigenes have been shouting out on the perceived insensitivity of the governor and those he surrounds himself with. There have been allegations of plunging state resources into frivolities such as endless acquisition of exotic cars, sponsoring of 30 of his friends to lesser Hajj amongst other activities that cost the State fortunes amidst dwindling revenue.
The latest in the stream of allegations against the governor and his political appointees affects the governor’s chief of staff and long time friend and business partner Edward Onoja.
According to a petition exclusively obtained by LeadingReporters, addressed to the security and anti-corruption agencies dated 7th January, 2016, a petitioner Max Akor Onoja alleges that Edward Onoja while working with Guarantee Trust Bank was a member of a syndicate who defrauded unsuspecting and innocent bank customs by luring them into a financial scheme patterned after the notorious Jewish American fund manager and convict, Bernard Madoff.
The petitioner alleges that Edward Onoja’s modus operandi is to convince unsuspecting members of the public to remove their monies in the banks to a special account with the claim that their deposits were to be loaned to investors who in turn make huge returns on investment. Lavish interests were promised them.
They convinced other people by paying the initial interest rate for some months, after which both the invested fund and interest were never paid again.
The mafia-like financial outfit has series of lawyers in their payroll who come handy to make case for the syndicate. They threatened the fund owners with all manners of threat so that they back out in fear and forfeit their monies.
The victim chronicled event that led him to part with his money to Edward Onoja only to find out that he has been scammed. He displayed in his petition a copy of the cheque which Edward Onoja allegedly signed for him as a consolation.
Mr Max Akor said he parted with N1,800,000 to Edward which he later discovered was a fraud. He said he was just one of the thousands of innocent Nigerians who fell victim of Edward and his group’s scam.
He is appealing to the anti-corruption agencies to bring Edward to book by investigating the role he played that brankrupted many innocent Nigerians. He said Edward through several phone calls, e-mails and text messages appealed to him for time to pay back only for him to route a letter through one of the lawyers allegedly in their group denying liability.
The petitioner is now questioning the rationale behind appointing someone of questionable integrity to head a sensitive government institution in Kogi State.
All attempts to get Mr. Edward Onojo to respond to the allegations were unsuccessful as texts and calls put across to him were not responded to.