Two middle-aged persons, Debora Fojo and Musa Garba, on Friday appeared before a Malumfashi Chief Magistrates’ Court in Katsina State for alleged breach of trust and cheating.
The two were accused of collecting N429,000 to invest in MMM, a Ponzi popular among millions of Nigerians.
Ms. Fojo and Mr. Garba are residents of Government Girls Secondary School Malumfashi Quarters and Unguwar Danyawa village in Kafur local government area respectively.
According to the separate First Information Reports (FIR) read to the court, Ms. Fojo allegedly collected N229,000 from one Sani Salisu of Unguwar Sodangi in Malumfashi to invest in the scheme.
Mr. Garba, on the other hand collected N200,000 from one Adamu Aliyu of Gangarawa also in Malumfashi to invest in MMM.
The police prosecutor, Sani Ahmed, told the courts that the accused deceived the complainants with a promise that business would provide 30 per cent returns within 30 days.
He said that neither the original money nor the interest were returned to the complainants after the expiration of the agreed period.
He said that the accused were charged with criminal breach of trust and cheating, offences that contravened sections 312 and 322 of the penal code laws.
The two accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Chief Magistrate, Lawal Usman adjourned Ms. Fojo’s case till April 11, while that of Mr. Garba was moved to April 18, for mention.
He ordered that the two accused persons be remanded in prison custody.
Nigerian authorities estimate that three million residents lost N18 billion after the MMM suspended its operations in December last year. Although the scheme has since returned, majority of those who invested last year are yet to get their money and the interest.
Millions of Nigerian still participate in MMM and other Ponzi schemes despite repeated warnings by regulators.