The Group Managing Director of BGL Plc, a Lagos-based financial services company, Mr. Albert Okumagba, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of a N28.9bn fraud.
Okumagba is accused of obtaining money from his clients under false pretences.
Before the EFCC arrest, the BGL boss made an unsuccessful attempt to get a court injunction restraining the EFCC from arresting him, but the attempt by his lawyer, Kolawole Raheem, failed as Justice Mohammed Yunusa refused to grant the ex parte application.
The EFCC arrested Okumagba on Wednesday in response to a petition by the Security and Exchange Commission in May, 2015. The SEC barred BGL from capital market activities in May, but the firm got a court injunction stopping SEC from barring it.
An EFCC source said, “The EFCC has arrested Mr. Albert Okumagba, Group Managing Director of BGL Plc, a financial services company, for offences allegedly bordering on obtaining money by false pretences.
“The 51-year-old, who hails from Delta State, was picked up late Wednesday, September 9, 2015, by operatives of the EFCC.
“His arrest was triggered by investigation into a petition submitted to the anti-graft agency by the Security and Exchange Commission in May 2015.
“The suspect is alleged to have diverted the sum of N28.9bn being proceeds of private placements of 4.3bn ordinary shares of 50k each at N7.00k per share in 2007.
“The company, whose subsidiaries include BGL Capital, BGL Private Equity, BGL Security and BGL Asset Management, allegedly lured 50 investors from across the country into subscribing to the company’s shares, promising them options of liquidity and exit within two years.”
It was stated that the investors were not able to liquidate their assets contrary to the promise made to them and that an alleged promise that BGL would be listed on the Securities and Exchange Commission two years after the offer in 2008 was not fulfilled
The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest and interrogation of the BGL boss.
No fewer than 40 petitions were said to have been sent to the SEC against BGL by aggrieved capital market investors in the country as well as the Rivers State Ministry of Finance.