…as Investors stormed office, demand refund.
By Olusesan Laoye
A week after the gory murder of Oko Oloyun a popular trado- medical Practitioner, whose real name is Fatai Yusuf, the circumstances behind the incident is still surrounded with controversies.
Both the police, investors, workers and even members of his family and friends are yet to unravel why he was murdered last Thursday January 23.
The popular trado practitioner who came into limelight with his traditional local herb, that helps women to get pregnant and cure to other ailments, was murdered by gunmen who came out from the bush on Igbo Ora-Eruwa road on his way to Iseyin, his home town in the Oke Ogun area of Oyo State. The assailants were believed to have trailed him from Lagos to the spot where he was killed.
Since the murder, there had been many speculations as to what could have led to it, which the police in Lagos and Oyo say they are still investigating.
But according to Business Hallmark findings, in both his home town Iseyin, which has been turned into mourning ground, and his two offices in Igando, Lagos, three issues emerged.
Firstly, the cases of constant fraud in his offices by his staff which led to the burning of some vital documents relating to their business transactions 10 hours before he was declared killed.
Secondly, the issue of his Ponzi business, which we learnt has been causing trouble for him. This had also led to his arrests several times at Igando Divisional police Headquarters in Lagos.
The third is a new dimension that he could have been a victim of bandits who operate on that road known to be Fulani herdsmen.
The man was also said to have floated a company which deals in property, land acquisition and real estate.
He traded and as well invested in money. His major money scheme is tagged option “C” . The mode of operation of the scheme is to receive money from people who want to trade and they get yields raging from 100% to 300% of the money invested. The Ponzi business is also used to lend traders money like LAPO but instead of basing it on interest like a financial institution, the receiver of the loan would pay double. It is more or less collecting 100% interest in the loans dished out.
Sources hinted BH that the business started on a good note and it was doing fine to attract more investors and those needing loans but as the business expanded he failed to cope with the volume of transactions due to lack of adequate training and background in financial business.
As one of his cousins who would not want his name in print confided in B H, he was warned to limit himself to the traditional medicine which he inherited from his grandfather but he insisted that he wanted to diversify and become very large in both Estate and financial business, since the atmosphere in Nigeria for such was encouraging and permits it.
According to the cousin , “he was doing well for many years and that was why people built strong confidence in him. I think something must have gone wrong somewhere that led to the crisis which eventually consumed him ”
It was also learnt that before his death the Ponzi business was on the verge of collapsing in view of many cases of defaulting in the payment of interests and returns by those who gave him money for investment.
Due to complaints by those who invested in his option “C” scheme he was detained many times by the police
He too on several occasions had taken those he borrowed money but they refused to pay to the police. This it was argued also got him into trouble because the money being giving out to people belong to the investors.
Although some of his staff are now in police net in Lagos and Ibadan being interrogated, both for his murder and the burning of some financial transaction documents linked to fraud in the company, the offices are now under lock and key. Some of the staff and sympathisers as well as investors were seen outside the Igando-LASU Road office discussing their plights.
When BH team visited the LASU Road office on Wednesday, we were informed by one of the staff that the crowd of investors who trooped there both on Friday last week and monday morning to demand the money they invested in his Ponzi scheme have left because no one is sure of what would happen next. He said the crowd overwhelmed the area last week when the investors heard about his death
Following the demise, people who invested money in his Ponzi scheme stormed the Head office of his company to demand how to retrieve their money.
The investors were the more confused as his two offices at Egba Idowu along Igando road in Lagos were shut with no one to provide information
The investors, however, vowed to take drastic measures if a statement was not issued by the organization as soon as possible.
Just like the day MMM folded up, the investors in “Option C” programme narrated how much they had invested and insisted they could not afford to lose their hard-earned money.
An investor, who chose to be called Emmanuel explained that Option C is a money-making programme that promised a 10% return in two months.
Emmanuel, who was trembling while speaking, added that he invested in the scheme in July 2019 and had only received returns once, contrary to the agreement of two months which was stated.
Mrs Bunmi (first name withheld), a retired teacher, who was clearly in shock, stated that she had invested millions having joined the programme in December 2018. She said she had only received N500,000 from her investment and that she was not sure of her fate with the death of Oko Oloyun.
Clutching her investment documents, she said that she filed to pull out after inconsistency in payment but rescinded her decision when she was told that she could not get her investment back in full.
Mr Azeez, another investor, said he invested N1 million in September 2019 and had decided to pull out after he was not paid in November. He, however, vowed to pursue his profit with all his ability.
Mrs Bisola (second name withheld) said she invested the money sent to her by her Military husband who is fighting insurgents in North East. She said she could not afford to lose the money. She urged the management to speak up and address the investment programme issue quickly.
Mrs. Sulaimon, an investor, said she aborted her trip to travel down from Badagry to Igando when she heard about the assassination of Oko Oloyun.
She noted with tears that she had invested a lot and could not afford to lose her investment. She was however optimistic that the returns would be paid after meeting her co-investors who cheered her up.
However, in the midst of the lamentation, some investors who had visited the house of the late Oko Oloyun in Lagos alleged that they were denied access by the security men, with the statement that “Alhaja said we should not allow anybody to come in, they are all in Ibadan.”
After the outcry, the investors, it was learnt, have agreed among themselves to visit the house of the deceased in Lagos during the Fidau prayers on the eighth day to demand their returns. But it is still not clear where the eight day FIdau prayer would be held either in Iseyin or in Lagos.
Meanwhile, the families are still in grieve. One of his brothers who narrated the ordeal of the family said they were still shocked because they did not know what he would have done to warrant his murder.
The man who identified himself as Alhaji Ajani Liadi said he was fond of helping people and he was one of the illustrious sons of Iseyin who would be missed. He pointed to his mansion and big hotel complex he is currently building in Iseyin.
He confirmed that his brother was killed about 10 hours after he received a phone call that some documents have been burnt in his Head office at Igabdo Lagos.
He said Oko Oloyun discovered some fraud in his office and complaints by some investors that some of the staff are not finding it easy with them.
Meanwhile the police in Ibadan and Lagos have indicated that Some of his staff are with them.
Police however said that Oko Oloyun had stepped on many toes with his type of business, especially the Ponzi business, which had taken him to the police station several times.
The commissioner of police in Oyo State Mr Shina Olukolu said they are on top of the matter and investigations are still going on. He added that a high powered man hunt is on to apprehend the killers.
Also the police public Relation Officer in Lagos had said that the cases of various allegations and complaints about Oko Oloyun’s businesses are being investigated, adding that they have in their custody some of his staff who could be of use in their investigations.
In a new development the apex Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere has warned the police not to cover up Oko Oloyun’ murderer, but explore all avenues in their investigations and not zero in only on the cases of fraud and crisis with his investors.
Afenifere spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin argued that the Police should put into consideration that there could be more to the fraud case because that route where he was killed was notorious for the operations of the Fulani herdsmen who were fond of attacking travellers. He pointed out that the police should not try to divert attention and cited the case of
Funke Olakunrin who was murdered by Fulani herds men and up till now nothing has been heard about her killers.
However, when Business Hallmark sought the opinion of a financial expert and a -chartered Accountant in Ibadan Mr. Adetunji Babajide on what the investors in Oko Oloyun’s business Could do to gain their money back, he said the only option is legal and that is if their transactions are well documented Saying, that it also depends on the kind of agreements they entered into with him.
Also a legal practitioner and former Chairman of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Barrister Bisi Ade — Ademuwagun said they could go to court because only a court of Competent jurisdiction could pronounce the anything on his property to be sold to pay up what he must have been owing investors in his company. He also added that the agreements reached with him would show what happens next.