Over 13000 people who placed their money in the trust of a wonder bank in Calabar have been left in destitute. The sum lost comes to a tune of N27 billion. The bank, operating under the name Micheno Multipurpose Cooperative Society, MMCS, owned by Michael Eke, bolted with the deposits of thousands of people who trusted them.
The scheme berthed in Calabar in June 2018 had been attracting patronage from Cross River state residents. Some of the depositors parted with their life savings and others deposited their gratuities, which run into millions, with the hope of reaping bountifully at the end of 40 days.
Depositors who put N100, 000 in the scheme had been promised an additional N50, 000 at the end of 40 days; depositors who put in N150, 000 were promised N300, 000 over that same period; while depositors of N1 million were promised N500, 000 at the end of the same 40-day period.
The scheme which started as a Swiss marketing company on WhatsApp had about 36 people within a month, which helped the message spread like wild fire and recruit more depositors seeking for a short term profitable venture.
One of the victims, Edna Nzegu said, “I have N33 million stocks with the scheme. It may not be much compared to what others have but this has destabilised my life and turned me to a mad woman with no bearing and I have lost interest in life and work.”
A Calabar-based comedian, MC Mbakara, is being widely accused of conniving with Michael Eke to fleece them of their money by promoting the scheme on his WhatsApp thread and website. This, they claim, served as a form of endorsement, which persuaded them to believe that the scheme was genuine. They are also saying that he has now gone into hiding.
Responding to the allegations, MC Mbakara said, “I have been accused of so many things I am not aware of. I am not on the run and not hiding. My phone lines have been open and I am very available.”