Hope for Investors of Addyfx, Farmkonnect, Farmsponsor, Others as Court Sentences Famzhi MD

Hope for Investors of Addyfx, Farmkonnect, Farmsponsor, Others as Court Sentences Famzhi MD

  • Mariam Suleiman, the chairman of Famzhi Interbiz Limited, was found guilty by a Federal High Court in Abuja
  • The court handed her a five-year prison sentence for defrauding investors of more than N2 billion
  • It also issued the directive to shut down the company and turn over all of its assets to the federal government

Legit.ng journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

A Federal High Court in Abuja found Mariam Suleiman, the chairman and Managing Director of Famzhi Interbiz Limited, guilty and sentenced her to five years in jail for defrauding investors of over N2 billion.

Court sentences Famzhi owner
The judge gave the order to wind up Famzhi and provide the federal authorities with forfeiture of all its assets. Photo Credit: Vladimir Vladimirov
Source: Getty Images

Trial judge Justice Inyang Ekwo handed down the verdict after finding Suleiman and her business guilty of the two accusations the federal government had filed against them.

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The judge held in his judgment,

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“Upon the provisions of Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act and Section 56(6) of the Securities and Investment Act being read to the defendants, for understanding of the terms of punishment therein.
“And upon hearing the allocations of the learned counsel for the defendants and considering the same, I am minded not to impose the full punishment on the first defendant (Suleiman) particularly.”

Suleiman was thus sentenced by Judge Ekwo to three years in jail for count one and two years in prison for count two, both of which would begin on the date of the order and run concurrently.

In addition, he gave the order to wind up the business and provide the federal authorities with forfeiture of all its assets.

He declared:

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“The said property shall be sold, and the proceeds used to compensate the victims of this crime.”

Operations violate standards

Leadership reported that three years ago, the SEC had denounced Famzhi Interbiz Limited's operations and issued a warning, stating that neither the company nor the "illegal products" it offered were under the Commission's registration or regulation.

According to the SEC, the Securities and Investment Act (ISA) 2007 was flagrantly violated as the company proceeded to illegally solicit funds from the investing public on the product(s) neither approved nor registered by the Commission, promising a guaranteed return on investment.

The Commission consequently declared that it had forwarded the firm to the competent law enforcement body for a criminal investigation and potential prosecution for violating the Investments and Securities Act 2007 and other pertinent Nigerian laws.

Justice Ekwo stated earlier in the ruling that it was evident the first and second defendants had planned an illegal act with them.

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“That is, to lure and offer for subscription an unregistered investment collective scheme valued over N2 billion to the unsuspecting general public.
“On that note, I found that the conspiracy offence in count one is proved as required by law, and I sold it.”

Justice Ekwo further found that, based on the testimony of prosecution witnesses and the materials submitted, it was proven that the defendants ran a scheme in pursuance of which public members were invited or permitted to invest money in a portfolio for a participatory interest.

"The defendants never disputed this evidence. The position of the law as settled in many authorities is that evidence adduced in court, relevant to the issue in controversy neither being challenged nor successfully debunked becomes good and credible evidence, which ought to be relied upon by a trial judge.”

Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that, like Famzhi, some other supposed investment platforms, such as Addyfx, Farmkonnect, Farmsponsor, and others, still hold on to investors' funds years after failing to meet their commitments.

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Many of these investors still hope that justice will be served someday and their funds will be reclaimed accordingly.

Court orders Agropartnership to refund investors' funds

Legit.ng reported that the Agropartnerships agritech crowdfunding website has been found to be operating illegally in Nigeria, according to the Abuja-based investments and securities tribunal.

Recall that the SEC earlier warned Nigerians to beware of some illegal platforms.

The verdict was made on June 8 by a five-member tribunal panel led by Abubakar Ahmad, including Nosa Osemwengie, Jude Udunmi, Albert Otesile, and Emeka Madubuike.

Source: Legit.ng

Zainab Iwayemi avatar

Zainab Iwayemi (Business Editor) Zainab Iwayemi is a business journalist with over 5 years experience reporting activities in the stock market, tech, insurance, banking, and oil and gas sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.sc) degree in Sociology from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. Before Legit.ng, she worked as a financial analyst at Nairametrics where she was rewarded for outstanding performance. She can be reached via zainab.iwayemi@corp.legit.ng