Tension heightens as frustrated Rivers forex investors besiege firm

Dennis Naku, Port Harcourt

Hundreds of investors of the MBA Trading and Capital Investment Limited who stormed the firm’s Port Harcourt office with the hope of receiving their payments were disappointed after meeting a closed gate on Tuesday.

Chairman of the forex firm, Maxwell Odum, had in a short message sent to its investors when it closed in December 2020 said the firm would resume for business on January 5, 2021 and assured them of their payments.

However, hundreds of anxious investors who had hung on the assurance and stormed the premises of the company on Tuesday were shocked when they saw the entrance of the forex company still under lock and key.

Our correspondent who visited the Waterlines office along the busy Aba Road in Port Harcourt about 8am on Tuesday observed that over 30 investors were already waiting for the staff to open the gate for hours on end, even as the number of investors soon swelled into hundreds with many discussing their fate in small groups.

Many of them wore long face, with some holding their heads, while others mostly women, placed their hands on their waist, gazing into an empty office premises and the unoccupied imposing office building.

Speaking to our correspondent, one of the investors who gave his name as George said, “We came to know what is happening with MBA because we invested our money here some months ago.

“We had an agreement with this man. Most of us our contract (payment) has elapsed and we renewed again, hoping that we will get out money.”

Another customer, Clement Legbara, said, “If he is saying that he has an issue with the bank, this is the same bank that started with him and he has been paying through the banks.”

A female investor who pleaded anonymity said she invested N500, 000 from her husband’s money, saying she has been getting a rough time explaining the issues to him.

Meanwhile, chairman of the company, Maxwell Odum, in a latest video message to customers obtained by our correspondent attributed the delay in payment to issues of regulation, banks and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Regulatory bodies, banks and COVID-19. These were major setbacks why we were not able to keep to our promises.

“We sincerely apologise to all our esteemed investors for all inconveniences we have caused you during these times.”

He added that the company has had regulatory challenges since early 2019.