Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq., Managing Partner , Law Corridor, on Tuesday, made “appaling” discoveries about the operations of several online loan platforms in Nigeria.
He disclosed his findings following about 6,000 requests he got via his email from people who shared sad stories associated with many online loan platforms in Nigeria otherwise known as loan sharks.
According to Olajengbesi, he found out that several victims tried committing suicide after investing their life savings.
He also realized that most of these online platforms do not have physical presence but only a number of mobile staff.
The lawyer said he observed that such platforms are not duly registered in line with legal or constitutional provisions of the country.
He wrote on Facebook:
“Recently, I decided to take up a matter of public interest to provide legal representation for persons who have been bedevilled by the untoward and offensive conducts of Loan Sharks who have whimsically taken hold of Small and Medium scale businesses in Nigeria.
“Contrary to my expectation that this situation would only affect a few numbers of Nigerians, I can confirm that till date I have received several mails in excess of Six Thousand requests and appeals all seeking help and deliverance from the stranglehold of these loan shacks on their lives, families and businesses.
“More appalling is the records of persons whom these Loan Sharks have so frustrated to the point of resorting to take their own lives. This reality has contributed abysmally to the increasing spate of suicide recorded within the space of the last three years.
“…I have embarked on a diligent search of these companies and proceeded further to scrutinize their legal personality status as well as their compliance with extant laws granting them license to operate in a moneylending capacity and I have found from my preliminary research that most of these companies operate like shell edifices: not properly registered and also not possessing the requisite registered business address for their activities.”
The wailings of Nigerians seem to have gotten the attention of the federal government.
NewsNGR earlier reported that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission stated recently that it had obtained an order from the Federal High Court to search and seize “certain digital money lenders.”
“As part of the operation, the JRETF together with the Nigeria Police Force and bailiff of the Federal High Court searched locations of the money lenders, extracted valuable evidence and in some circumstances prohibited or restricted continuing operations.
“In addition to the physical operation noted above, the Commission entered and served Orders on multiple financial institutions freezing or suspending operations of certain accounts which some of the money lenders have used to conduct implicated business or transactions subject of investigation,” the FCCPC had stated.