Ovaioza Umu Yinusa, the founder of Ovaioza Farm Produce Storage Business (OFPSB) has apologised to investors.
Recall that the Security and Exchange Commission, SEC had frozen the company’s accounts for running an illegal financial investment scheme following a petition by a lawyer, Azubuike Ihemeje.
However, Yinusa had claimed after the company’s accounts restrictions that she was not owing any of her investors. Several persons who made deposits into the business disputed her claims. She subsequently deactivated her verified Facebook page and went incommunicado.
Yinusa who reappeared on Friday after 1 week of speculations, told her investors that she was ignorant of the legal requirements to operate such a business.
In a long apology letter, she said “It is rather unfortunate that we are at this point in what had been a seamless partnership, built on mutual trust, cooperation,and collective best interests. However, this is also one time we must, as partners and stakeholders in this business, hold our hands together, as we wade through this storm, believing strongly that we will come out victorious.
“I want to assure everyone of my partners of my commitment to resolving all of these as soon as I possibly can so everyone will be settled.
“It is necessary I state here that I am only a trader, involved in the simple buying and selling of farm produce. I had started this buying and selling from the scratch, without any thought to swindle people of their hard earned money. And as the business grew, my focus was on the exact buying and selling and nothing more.
“In my management of this business, I have been open to following due process and procedure, as advised by my lawyer, leading to the registration of OFPSB with the Coporate affairs Commission (CAC).
“However, I must admit my ignorance as to the extent of corporate compliance that is necessary for my buying and selling business, especially as the business grew, owing to funds sought from the public. Again, I am only a trader, versed in the craft of buying and selling, but a lay man in the legal expectations and commitment from such business.
“However, when it was brought to my notice my business requires registration with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), I asked my lawyer to reach out to SEC to ensure the needful was done. I did this to ensure that my interest and the collective interest of my partners are protected by law.
“My lawyer duly reached out to SEC and reported back to me (I was not the one who went to SEC) that SEC said they don’t regulate buying and selling. I must also admit that maybe we should have made a written application requesting for SEC to register my business, but unfortunately we did not do so.
“This huge mistake on our part, is particularly why are here battling to wriggle out of the SEC conundrum and not necessarily whether a petition was written against OFPSB or not. I say so because, without registration with SEC, it was only a matter of time before they come for us, if we had carried on the business without registration.
“After a dispassionate view of the whole issues, I have come to the conclusion that mistakes have been made, even when the intentions were good, and for this I owe everyone an unreserved apology.
“First to my partners, for putting them through this tumultuous challenge, exposing them to pressure, panic and fear. I am truly sorry. In no time, all of these will be over.
“To Barr. Azubuike Ihemeje, who had in good fate and for the public good, petitioned SEC, per his duty as a well-meaning Nigerian, especially in the face of the many Ponzi schemes that have robbed Nigerians of their hard-earned monies. I am very sorry sir, I reacted from an emotional place, instead of a logical and objective place.
“I want to further state, my apology is without compulsion and coercion, but having looked at the whole issues without emotional attachment, I have come to see that I owe him an unreserved apologies, if I have offended him through my actions, posts, WhatsApp status, and/or by proxy, through those who have indirectly called him names or outrightly insulted him, on this space or anywhere for that matter. It was never my intention, neither will I, in good fate, do anything to drag his good name and reputation to the mud. Again I’m very sorry for whatever happened prior to this time.
“I have also reached out to him through my team, to express in unequivocal terms, this stance, and will be open to his wise and professional counsel as I do all within my powers and in the shortest time possible, to resolve this whole issue.
“May I also at this junction, reinstate my commitment to my partners, that I will do everything possible to ensure that their monies will be paid as directed by SEC, while craving their indulgence and patience, as I work with SEC to expedite action.
“I hope you will support me through this process and I promise not to disappoint you all” .