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11 Oct 2018

Members Petition House Of Reps To Probe Refund Of N30bn Contribution By Micheno Cooperative Society

The House of Representatives has received a petition urging it to facilitate the refund of deposited funds allegedly totaling N30bn to the over 13,000 members of Micheno Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society.

The petition, laid at plenary on Thursday by Rep Rotimi Agunsoye (APC-Lagos), wants the House to rescue the subscribers from financial bankruptcy resulting from the regulatory lapses of some financial and regulatory institutions.

The petitioners also urged the House Committees on Federal Capital Territory, Banking and Currency, Financial Crimes and Public Petitions to investigate the role of the Federal Capital Territory Administration’s Department of Cooperative Societies in the registration and regulation of Micheno Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society.
“This will enable the committees to determine the existence or otherwise of regulatory lapses,” the petition said.

“The committees, according to the petitioners, would also inquire into the role of the aforementioned and other commercial banks in the irregular dissipation of about N30bn funds of Micheno Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society deposited with them,” the petitioners added.

The petition urged the House to further inquire into the regulatory role of the CBN in the irregular operation of the accounts of Micheno Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society domiciled with some commercial banks in the country.

It also urged the committees to direct the CBN to produce and further mandate all commercial Banks where Micheno Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society held accounts to present all financial statements of Micheno accounts.

In the petition, dated September 28, 2018, the petitioners stated that, “Sometime in March 2018, the promoters of Micheno Multi-purpose Cooperative Society (the “Cooperative”) obtained a certificate of registration from the Department of the Federal Capital Territory Administration responsible for the registration of Cooperative Societies and thereafter made advertisements and representations to the public, inviting people to subscribe to the cooperative.

“The promoters, in their advertisements and representations, held out that the cooperative will make investments in agriculture, real estate, entertainment and events, oil and gas, haulage and logistics, general marketing of goods and services, and offering of credit facilities.

“Subscribers were to receive interests on deposits made to the cooperative after such funds would have been invested in the approved areas of investment for the cooperative.

“Prospective subscribers were required to fill the membership registration form, pay a subscription fee of N10,000 and thereafter deposit a minimum sum of N100,000 which will entitle them to interest of an agreed percentage of their individual deposits.

“A person becomes a member after filling the membership form and upon payment of the N10,000 subscription fee.

“In response to the said advertisements and representations, over 13,000 people have become members of the cooperative outfit and have deposited various sums of money, including the Petitioners herein.

“From May 2018 till date, about N30bn has been deposited by members into the cooperative accounts.”

The committees are expected to meet and commence the probe immediately it is ratified by the House.

(News Agency of Nigeria)

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