Report By: Dede Uzor A. Uzor
The Campaign for Democracy (CD), South-East Region has urged the Economic and Finance Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to arrest Mr. Stanley Akabuogu, Chairman, Anambra Chapter of Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).
This was contained in a statement issued to newsmen by the group on Tuesday.
The statement was signed by Dede Uzor A. Uzor, Chairman of CD South-East Region.
The statement further said that Akabuogu had allegedly been extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public in the disguise of giving them loan from Federal Government.
``From 2004, Akabuogu and his cohort had been allegedly collecting N2,600 for the form for the said loan for over 900 people, who are residents and indigenes of Anambra and other South-East States.
``Apart from the form, other extortion within the alleged scam perpetrated by Akabuogu led group included N1000 and N600 for membership card and ID card respectively, for each form holder.
``Subscribers to the alleged scam, also paid Agricultural Bank, Awka N14,000 each; and local government fees N1,000.
``And transport to-and-fro for the incessant meetings for the alleged scam loan to be redeem for over eight years for most of the subscribers living within Nnewi, Ekwulobia, Onitsha and other parts of the state and beyond amounts to N12,000,’’ it said.
The statement said that it was disheartening for somebody or group to start working on the psychic of others due to the prevailing poverty and financial illiteracy in the country.
``The total N28, 980,000 had been allegedly collected from low income Nigerians such as rural farmers, artisans, petty traders, market women and civil servants to a promised that never existed anywhere,’’ it said.
It said that one of the victims, Mr Eddy Anudu, a trader at Bridge-Head Market, Onitsha lamented the criminal extortion allegedly perpetrated by NASSI.
The statement called on First Bank of Nigeria to terminate the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) it had with NASSI, aimed at making single-digit credit facilities available to Small and Medium Scaled Industries and Enterprises in Nigeria recently.
``Gov. Peter Obi should immediate ban NASSI and other investment and credit ventures within the state not duly approved and monitored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
``Other governors in the South-East should follow suit and stop these scams that extort money from people especially the poor and down trodden,’’ it said.