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Bayelsa govt funds not trapped in our FOREX scheme says Barazar Cooperative

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By Kenechukwu Obiajuru, Yenagoa

A Yenagoa-based group deploying the cooperative model to engage in foreign exchange trading, Barazar Multipurpose Cooperative Society on Tuesday denied having the funds of Bayelsa government trapped in its botched investment scheme.

A statement by Mr Miebi Briebina, chief executive of the society denied reports that the cooperative which offered investors ‘mouth-watering’ 25 percent monthly returns on capital enjoyed the patronage of Bayelsa government.

Barazar had since March 2021 failed to meet its 25 per cent monthly returns payment obligations, thereby trapping funds running into billions of naira for its over 40,000 investors.

Following legal action by an aggrieved investor, a Bayelsa High Court, on July 30, froze the bank accounts of the society.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had, in April, cautioned members of the public to be wary of investment schemes that offer mouth-watering returns for the safety of their hard-earned money.

According to the statement, Briebina described reports that the failed investment scheme enjoyed the patronage of Bayelsa government as false and calculated to pitch the cooperative society against the state government.

Briebina described the claims as “Pure blackmail and another attempt by mischief makers to drag the name of the Cooperative in the mud and pitch it against the state government.

“Baraza is not an affiliate of the state government or any of its agencies as being rumoured but a duly registered Cooperative Society Limited,” he stated.

The clarification follows the announcement by Bayelsa commissioner for information, Ayiba Duba on Tuesday that the government of Bayelsa has no affiliations with the cooperative society.

The government advised aggrieved investors whose funds were trapped in the scheme who were planning a protest to Bayelsa Government House, Yenagoa to discard the idea and seek other peaceful means of resolving the issues with the cooperative society.

“Members of Baraza Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited are to note that the Cooperative Society is a private concern. 

“Government is neither a party nor a witness to the Cooperative’s activities and contract with its members. 
“Therefore, any protest targeted at the state government in respect of the cooperative is ill-advised, misdirected and must not be carried out.

“Rather than straining the public peace, aggrieved investors and the management of Baraza Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited are advised to explore peaceful means of resolving their issues.

“Furthermore, government urges Bayelsans and residents to shun any act that could compromise the public order and security in the state,” Duba said.

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