Port Harcourt lady Nkechi Mercy Ikogwe: squanders Ponzi scheme money on pools betting

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Nkechi Mercy Ikogwe, a Port Harcourt lady, squandered on sports betting N139.7 million of the money she fraudulently collected from some Nigerians and then she paid N1 million as tithe to her church.

Her fraud is now the subject of a court action filed by the EFCC against her at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.

Ikogwe was on Monday arraigned before Justice E.A. Obile for a total fraud of N179 million.

She was charged with two companies, used as vehicles for the fraud, Elites Finance Investment Limited and Efinc Global Investment Limited,

The EFCC arraigned them on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

The woman was said to have used the sum of N139,704,097 of the N179 million to play sports betting and also paid a tithe of N1 million to a church in Port Harcourt.

One of the counts against the defendants read: “That you Nkechi Mercy Ikogwe, Elites Finance Investment Limited and Efinc Global Investment Limited sometime in 2019 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N179,326,386.62 by inducing unsuspecting members of the public to invest with your companies:

Elites Finance Investment Limited and Efinc Global Investment Limited, assuring them under a false pretence of making 15% interest on all investment made, a representation you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”

Justice Obile ordered that the 1st defendant, Ikogwe, be remanded in prosecution’s custody and adjourned the matter till October 19 for determination of the bail application.

Mercy ran into trouble when the commission received a report about the defendant and two others, accusing them of inducing their victims into participating in a fraudulent investment scheme with a fake promise of 15 per cent return on investment.