Pastor Kayode Samuel, a popular cleric in Oyo, was a picture of piety as he looked at Mrs. Zainab Jimoh, who is accusing him of being a fraudster.
The woman’s anger was understandable. She had invested the money for a year, hoping to use the interest to travel to Indian for a medical treatment. She couldn’t believe it that her dream has turned to nightmare.
The woman alleged that she lost N1 million after Samuel introduced her to the new Ponzi scheme which has infiltrated the Nigerian society called ‘D9 Clube.’
Jimoh explained that ordinarily she wouldn’t have ventured into such a risky affair, after knowing and hearing about the horrible experiences of some Nigerians after MMM website shutdown.
Presently, police said that at least 200 victims, who Samuel introduced to the 9D Clube had lost their money. The number of victims, according to the police, continues to swell. It is definitely going to be gloomy Christmas, with many of them expectant. Incidentally, Samuel had promised many of them a bumper Christmas as they were investing, promising to make them happy.
Samuel, who also introduced himself as a pastor and a prophet, has a church he shepherds in Ibadan, Oyo State.
He confessed to have convinced at least about 20 of his members to invest in the scheme, which had since folded up.
Samuel was arrested along with one of his staff identified as Kola Banji. Trouble for Samuel started after Jimoh failed to realise an interest of N3 million, expected from N1 million investment.
“I invested N1 million after I heard him speak on radio, talking about the scheme. I paid the N1 million into Samuel’s Access Bank as I was directed. After one year, I didn’t receive any money. When I asked him to refund my money, he said that the scheme had shut down because the person that started had been murdered. I have over 200 names of people that I know he had defrauded so far. There are still others,” the woman said.
Samuel was further alleged to have absconded from his Ojodu Berger office after allegedly defrauding Jimoh and relocated to Ibadan, Oyo State. The suspect was tracked to Ibadan and arrested by detectives attached to the Special Enquiry Bureau (SEB) of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Alagbon, Lagos.
Sometimes in August 2017, Samuel, the Chief Executive Officer of ‘Sack Your Boss, Be Your Boss,’ scheme allegedly conspired with Banji and others still at large to defraud Jimoh on N1 million under the pretence that the money would yield interest of N3 million at the end of one year.
After allegedly defrauding Jimoh, the suspect and his group relocated from No 10 Aina Street Berger, Ojodu, Lagos, where they had their office to Ibadan in Oyo State.
Jimoh added that she had to travel seven times to Ibadan, in attempts to get her money from Samuel, but all efforts proved abortive. She also claimed that Samuel later started threatening her life.
According to the police, when the petition was received by the Inspector-General of Police and Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), FCID, instruction was issued to SEB detectives to fish out the suspects behind the alleged scam. Samuel, however, insisted that he didn’t con Jimoh or other Nigerians involved in the scheme.
He added: “In fact, I was also scammed. I invested almost N3 million. I have collected only once before the scheme suddenly shut down. But everyone that ventured into the scheme knew the risk they were taking. We told them about the risk. We warned them about the risk before they invested their money. They all signed to that effect. The scheme shut down after the person that started it was murdered. I’m not a fraudster!
Jimoh said: “I first heard of Samuel when he was on air, on a national radio. In fact, he used to go to different radio stations, RayPower, Bond FM, Radio Lagos and others, to talk about this Ponzi scheme. We all believed him. I personally believed him because he is a pastor and a prophet. I didn’t know he could defraud me. He advertised himself as an online businessman. I got the address of his office on the radio and went to his office at No 10, Aina Street, Ojodu, Berger, Lagos.”
When Jimoh got to the office, he met some of Samuel’s workers. They gladly buttressed the messages Samuel had been propagating on the radio.
Jimoh narrated: “They introduced the online business to me. They called it D9. They showed me all the papers relating to the online business. I told them that I wanted to see their boss. They called him on the phone; he promised he would come down to Lagos to meet with me. When I met him, he further introduced everything to me. He gave me a paper. He said if I could invest N1 million, the money would roll over and after a year, my interest would be N3 million.”
Convinced beyond doubt, Jimoh pooled her money together and transferred all to Samuel. “I invested the N1 million because I would be going to India for a medical treatment on my leg. I made a transfer of N1 million to his Access Bank account. That was August last year. This is exactly a year and three months after that payment and I’m yet to receive any interest or get my money back.”
Just as Jimoh was beginning to fret over the business not going as she figured, Samuel came to Lagos to give another set of prospective investors’ talks on D9. That was when Jimoh had opportunity to discuss with him, asking for her money.
“When I asked him for my money, he said that the director of D9 called Danilo had been murdered. I asked murdered for what? But he couldn’t explain. I demanded my money. I told him I was only interested in my money. He said I should come to Ibadan. I went there with my younger brother about seven times, but he kept ‘posting’ us. He wanted to put me on another scheme, but I insisted that I just wanted my money,” said Jimoh.
Jimoh and Samuel, however, soon unsheathe their claws. Jimoh recalled: “One day I called him on the phone that I couldn’t make it to Ibadan because of the risk; he said he didn’t owe me anything. That he was not going to refund any money. He said that if I went too far, I would lose everything, including my life.”
Piqued, Jimoh petitioned the police and Samuel was soon arrested.
“I later discovered that Samuel had defrauded a lot of people. I have some of their contacts on my phone. He has defrauded over 200 people. He defrauded them the same way he did me. He didn’t give them the money as promised, but he kept making promises. Last Sunday, he called me, he said that if I wanted to get even N500,000, I should tell police to release his seized car, so that he could go to Ibadan. I asked N500,000 for what? I gave him N1 million. In fact, even in a microfinance bank that money would have yielded interest. I want my money, and not just the N1 million, I want the N3 million turnover he promised me. It’s been a year and three months.”
Jimoh presented a transfer slip, to show that she truly credited Samuel’s Access Bank Account.
Asked why she went into the Ponzi scheme after even hearing about MMM, Jimoh replied: “Yes, I know about MMM, but Samuel calls himself a pastor and a prophet. He went on air, in different radio stations in Lagos, Oyo, Kwara and Osun states to speak about this scheme. I believed him because he is a pastor, but I got disappointed. I’ll never trust anyone that calls himself a pastor or a man of God.”
Jimoh warned Nigerians to be wary of people that call themselves pastors or prophets, describing them as, “charlatans”.
She added: “I know Samuel’s church at Akpete in Ibadan. It’s a Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). I don’t know if he is the owner of the church.”
Samuel, who said that he had been pastoring his church for over seven years, said he had been a minister of God for well over 25 years.
Recounting how he met the victim, Samuel said: “Mrs Jimoh and I were into networking business; that means when you join, you refer people to make more money. We advertised it for those who are interested to come. Any time we do this advertisement, we let people know that the business was risky and that it’s an online business. Mrs Jimoh heard about this online advertisement and came to our seminar. The person in charge to teach them let them know that the business is on D9 online trading. He told them about the risk. She had interest and joined with about N952,000. I joined the business on May 20, 2017; by the time Mrs Jimoh joined the business, which was around September, D9 sport trading had fooled everybody in Nigeria and abroad. They scammed everyone, including me!”
According to Samuel, the person that introduced him to the online trading was a pastor. The pastor told “me that the business was real and couldn’t disappoint. But by the time the business refused to pay the bonuses of all our clients. One of our great leaders, Mr Matthew, a top leader in the business around us, told me that we needed to go to Uganda and investigate. Uganda, Libya, Kenya and everybody did the same D9 sports trading.”
He added: “We had to investigate because many people trusted us with their money. We didn’t want to disappoint them. We didn’t want them to see us as bad people. When we got back from Uganda, we noticed D9 Clube had closed their website. When they did, I gathered everybody that did the business and told them everything that was happening. In fact, even before the business collapsed, I carried them along. When we came from Uganda I had a meeting with all the investors around Lagos. I told them that D9 Clube had defrauded us because the site had been shut down. Many of us were not happy. I had almost N3 million there, which was my money. I have not recovered everything that I invested. Now, when we noticed that the site had been shut down, we needed to encourage all our investors because there is something called TBC. TBC is a crypto-currency that has good features. I have the TBC. When I held a meeting with them I told them that I wanted to make them happy because it December was around.
“I didn’t want them to cry. I have the TBC, which I could give them. They can change the TBC to money in the future. At least 90 per cent of them know about the TBC already. It’s like Bitcoin which is also a crypto-currency. Mrs Jimoh agreed to accept the TBC. She came to Ibadan and filled out a form that she has agreed to collect the TBC back in form of money she gave to us.”
Samuel said that exactly three months after he settled the matter with Jimoh; she called, demanding her money again.
He said: “I know her condition. I know she has health issue. She had earlier told me she that she would travel somewhere to treat herself. I told Mrs. Jimoh that her money was with me. I told her that because of her health issue, I would definitely make her happy by December. I’ll do something for her because there were some Bitcoin I bought around that time. At that time, it was $18,000 when I bought it, but now it is $3,000. I asked her to wait, that if the Bitcoin rises again, I will invest the money. I wanted to make her happy. But she wouldn’t listen. Two weeks ago, she came with police to arrest me.”
Samuel said he didn’t and couldn’t understand why Jimoh refused to accept the TBC he offered her, when other victims had done so.
Samuel also denied ever threatening Samuel’s life, stressing, “She’s lying! I don’t have the power to kill. I never threatened her. ”
Asked why he instructed his ‘clients’ to transfer their money into his Access and Zenith accounts, rather than pay online, Samuel responded that it was because most of them didn’t know how to operate computer.
He said: “Many didn’t know how to operate computers. They begged us to assist them pay online. We have what we call Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). We gave the MoU to everyone that we collected money from. We told them that the money we collected from them was to assist them activate Bitcoin accounts.
“As we were doing the investigation about D9, we heard that the owner, Danilo Santana, a Brazilian, was dead. It was published that he was dead. Personally, I didn’t believe that he was dead. Mr Lawal and Pastor Abiodun Olalore introduced me to online business. The people I have brought into the business are close to 100; that is on TBC. But those in D9 should be close to 200.
“The people that bought TBC know it’s a future profit so they are not in a hurry. But D9 is about investment. They are supposed to give bonuses every Monday.”
Asked why he relocated from Ojodu Berger to Ibadan after D9 site shut down, Samuel said: “The reason I relocated was because I no longer have money to maintain that office. I was scammed.”
He added: “I’m a preacher of the word of God. I have heard about MMM, but I wasn’t a victim. I preach early in the morning. Yes of course. I’m not happy about what happened. Since then, Mrs Jimoh has been calling me. I have feelings for her because of her health. D9 sports trading defrauded us and we know that. I want to resolve the matter. I spoke with Mrs Jimoh on Sunday morning and told her I didn’t have money now, but that I would settle her. I have a car, which I can sell to raise money to give to her.
“Yes, my church members also invested in D9 and TBC. I have decided to stop this online trading. I received a message from God to stop it. Yes, the warning came after D9 crashed.
“D9 was paying $130 every Monday. Online business networking meant to bring people to make more money. When Mrs Jimoh joined, it collapsed. I had only been able to collect only one bonus, which is about N130,000. When we advertised on air, many people listened and joined. We don’t collect money for training. We train people on how to operate the online business. I’m not okay with what happened. It’s a bad thing. I have lots of followers in the scheme.”
On his part, Banji said he started working for Samuel last year. Samuel doesn’t pay him monthly, but daily. He pays him N1,000 daily, but pays N2,000 on weekends.
Banji, a professional photographer, who decided to be working for Samuel to augment his earnings, said: “When I joined D9, I was shown on the internet and told that it was a sports trading. I know something about it. I’m also into online trading. I have been trading in Forex for a while now. I was in Ibadan, but moved to the Lagos office. Around August we had an advertisement on radio and seminar. Many people came. Mrs Zainab Jimoh was among people that came for the seminar. During the seminar, I always tell people that business was risky because it’s an online business. I even used to refer to MMM. I warned them to use only their spare money to invest. I needed to tell them the truth, even if it means scaring them. I also explained the risks to Mrs Jimoh. We used a flat at Ojodu Berger as our office. I invested and trade in online business, but not D9.”
Other victims, who were at Alagbon station with Jimoh, are Joseph Udoh, George Lai Aremu and Andy Abah.