…Coy MD now at large.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The question on the lips of most residents of Byazin area of Kubwa Village, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) now is on the whereabouts of Haj. Mariram Omayoza Suleiman?
Haj. Mariam Suleiman is being accused of allegedly swindling of thousands of the Bayzin, Kubwa Village residents of multi-millions of naira. Most of the victims are widows, women, and retirees, among others.
Haj. Suleiman, the woman Managing Director and founder of Abuja-based Famhzi Agro Investment Company located in Byazin in Kubwa Village, reportedly collected multi-millions of naira from her victims as investors but failed to pay the profits and capitals when the company collapsed.
According to information obtained from a victim, Regina Ambrose, a widow, and others, Haj. Mariam Suleiman, who promised to pay the investors their profits and capital about two years ago when the company failed, has not fulfilled her promises.
The MD was reportedly arrested by security operatives several times over the sharp practices but was later set free after interrogations in Abuja without paying the investors their monies till date.
Long before her arrest, which was allegedly instigated by some high profile, swindled victims, Haj. Suleiman reportedly engaged the services of military and police security at different times to shield herself and the company’s workers from being attacked by some aggrieved investors.
All efforts to reach out to the MD through her phone and WhatsApp messages proved abortive, as there was not response at all.
Investigation, however, revealed that, problem started when the company failed to pay the monthly profits to the investors, estimated at over 11,000 people, prior to April to July, 2020, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
Each investor had reportedly committed between N50,000 to N500,000 and N1 million to N10 million, respectively, and even more, depending on their individual financial capacities.
Earlier, Haj. Suleiman, in some of her WhatsApp video messages to investors and other top management staffs of the company, had promised to refund the arrears of the profits and capital after series of threats on the company by investors, due to mass failure of payment of profits.
One man, who invested heavily in the Famhzi Interbiz Company, allegedly attempted suicide but later ‘transferred’ his anger to the company’s properties and destroyed some parts due to continued promised-and-fail to pay his profits he was in dare need of, eye witness has said.
Findings also revealed that, the victims – mostly less-privileged Nigerians, who invested their “last cards” in the company – are still looking forward to deal with the MD and other top management staffs, as a result of the failure to pay their profits and capital, as earlier promised.
The company office, originally located at No.15 Zone B, Madaki Lane, Byazin, in Kubwa Village, Abuja, allegedly collected hundreds of millions of naira from interested investors over the years as capital, using persuasion.
Our correspondent, who visited the company recently, reported that the premises was deserted and without lives.
The MD and other management staffs were perpetually absent from the office, apparently due to consistent threats and attack they had witnessed by some aggressive investors, who could no longer afford to wait.
A victim investor, who is widow, Mrs Regina Ambrose, who also invested in the company, told our reporter that the MD “only comes to the office with a driver, in the night, holding her head down, hidden, or in the booth of her car,” as revealed to her by eyewitness neighborhood.
It’s recalled that, a female admin officer, who gave her name as Mercy, had told a journalist, who is also a victim of the company, that no management staffs attend the office anymore for long.
A company security officer had threatened a journalist, who is a victim, with attack for recording threat statements uttered by some aggrieved investors waiting for the MD, HOD and other management staff in the premises for not paying them their profits and capital in 2020.
The company flier obtained earlier by our reporter also stated that the organization paid their investors and partners, based on the duration of their investments.
“Monthly investments will earn 20% plus their original capital, less than 20% in the fort months, which is retained as Registration Fees. We also give investors the benefit of collecting their rewards in livestock,” it stated, among others.
Insider sources, however, disclosed that the profits started dropping from 20 to 10 percent before the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the company blamed as ‘reasons for failure to pay profits,’ adding that business activities in terms of patronage was down due to the pandemic.
Bubble busted when investors, who were promised April 2020 for profits payment, failed to received it till date, as many failed to received their usual monthly bank alerts payment.
Brekete, Ahmed Musa, of Human Rights Radio, it was gathered, invited Haj. Suleiman for interview, who gave some months time to pay but was aborted due to the challenges the station owner faced within the period.
A woman-cum widow, who was recorded, issuing threats, said she was going to come and collect her money “by all means,” lamenting that she invested millions and wondered why she should be left to be hungry because of non-payment of profit and capital invested too long.
A Police Station in Byazin had once confirmed that they have received several reports and notice of threats by investors from the company, but said it was “purely civil matter.” An investor (who did not want her name in print) said the company promised to payback capitals to investors but failed to meet up with their promise.
Findings revealed that, the company’s management mismanaged the capitals generated by embarking on land acquisition and building of edifices with the investors’ monies within the areas, and ran short of funds to sustain the payment of profits to investors, coupled with the pandemic.