THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, arrested the managing director of a ‘Wonder Bank’, Lets Partner with you Limited, Chief Patrick Shanchi Nwokike, at his residence in Enugu, the Enugu State capital.
The arrest, according to a statement made available to the Nigerian Tribune, by EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, followed over 100 petitions from across the country on the activities of the wonder bank.
The statement informed that petitions were received from Nigerians across religious, gender, ethnic, economic and social strata indicatng that the company had over the past five years ,solicited and obtained deposits of more than N4 billion from the general public with promise of mouth-watering interest in return.
Uwujaren said that investigations conducted by the anti-corruption commission, revealed that the company had no license to solicit and manage funds for the public nor was it registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
He added that further investigations revealed that the company had, for some time, paid a 10 per cent interest on invested capital but suddenly, stopped and all efforts by depositors to have at least, their initial investments returned were futile.
Many of the complainants alleged that the operators of the scheme, especially, Chief Nwokike, not only live very flamboyant lifestyles but also acquired several personal assets as well as using their deposits for philanthropic enterprises.
The wonder bank, the EFCC spokesman stated, was found to be operating over six accounts in about four banks with the chief executive of “Lets partner with you Limited” and his wife being the only signatories to the accounts.
In his statement, Nwokike, who acknowledged that depositors’ funds with his company was about N4 billion, denied operating both money lending and investment business as alleged by the petitioners.
He said that his company was into partnership business, which received money from interested partners, who desired interest over a period of time.
Uwujaren, however, said that investigation into the alleged fraud was continuing.