- To this day, the federal government has failed to investigate Mr. Charles Dukwe, the self-proclaimed ‘Money Making Machine’ and his business activities, and to shut down his firm should it (and it definitely will) be discovered to be fraudulent
- Charles Dukwe Vehemently Refutes Allegations Against Women In Oil
Nov. 18, 2013
By Dotun Briggs
In January 2010, the British government arrested James McCormick, a British businessman who had made billions of US dollars selling fake bomb detectors to foreign security companies and government agencies. Investigations revealed that McCormick’s company, ATSC (UK) had been repackaging $69 golf ball finders and selling them as bomb detectors for as much as $7000 each.
The findings terribly embarrassed the UK government as they revealed how the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, a government agency had unsuspectingly promoted the scam business by linking ATSC with foreign security chiefs, many of whom became its customers. Even though James McCormick has subsequently been convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, the sham bomb detector story exposed how governments everywhere do little or nothing to properly regulate businesses and protect their citizens.
In Nigeria the case is not quite different, and many phony companies have taken advantage of these regulatory loopholes to swindle unsuspecting Nigerians. Chief among these is Women In Oil, a bogus investment scheme run by one Charles Dukwe and which touts itself as a government-endorsed women empowerment programme.
Founded in 2012 by Charles Dukwe, Women In Oil is a subsidiary of Dukwe Incorporated which he claims aims at helping Nigerian women to profit from the country’s plenteous petroleum resources. According to its website, the initiative is an attempt to take the 35 per cent quota policy of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration beyond political appointments.
However, all that Women In Oil is really doing is collecting money from poor Nigerian women, especially those in the rural areas, to line the pockets of its founder and CEO. Posing as an initiative conducted in collaboration with the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, its representatives collect between ₦8,700 and ₦120,000 from rural women with an assurance that from August 2014 each will receive a monthly income of up to ₦30,000. Its Terms and Conditions, as listed on its website, promise a minimum income distribution of ₦10,000 per month, in worst case scenario, to members.
From His Website: http://www.dukwe.com/wio/
President Good luck Jonathan’s 35% affirmative policy provided both the inspiration and foundation for “Women in Oil” which has now become the largest umbrella for women empowerment and family support in the history of the federal republic of Nigeria. Given a few more years in office, President Goodluck Jonathan will do more for the average woman in Nigeria than any other president and will provide greater support for Women in Oil which will invariably increase the empowerment of the members.
According to Charles Dukwe, in an interview with Business Day newspaper in April, Women In Oil will invest the collective fund in 21 key areas of the oil and gas industry. It is estimated that about 155,000 Nigerian women have already registered with the hope of getting monthly oil dividends for life. Information gathered from our investigations reveal that the money generated thus far is around ₦7.09 billion.
The organization’s website reveals the calibre of persons charged with running the affairs of the company. Surprisingly, the ‘board of directors’ is a laughable stock of first degree holders with no prior work experience. This bares the intent which has never been to gainfully invest in the country’s technologically challenging oil industry.
Charles Dukwe: The Evil Genius
According to the overstated biography of Charles Dukwe published on the company’s website, he studied Marketing Management at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology and proceeded to obtain Masters degrees in International Management and in Business Administration from two unnamed universities in the United Kingdom. Having taken great effort to name the primary and secondary school as well as the state university he attended in the country, it is incongruous to leave off the two UK institutions from which he obtained his purported Masters degrees. Therefore, it is not strange that we found no record of him graduating from any UK institution.
Charles claims to have authored two‘best-selling’ African plays and a ‘best-selling’ Christian poem as a teenager. He claims to have played a significant role in the election of the US President Barrack Obama in 2009 and to have written a widely acclaimed poem for the election campaign titled ‘Obama Soldier’. An official of the Democratic Party, whom we contacted, says they have no record of him as a member nor have ever heard of his poem.
The most outrageous of his many lies is the spurious claim that he invented the concept of ‘Marketing for Non-profits’ in his bachelor’s degree thesis (in 1996) before the world renowned professor of Marketing Management, Philip Kotler agreed to the idea. This is cynically preposterous; Philip Kotler had developed the concept before Charles Dukwe was born and had already written celebrated books on the subject in the 1970s. One of these books titled ‘Strategic Marketing for Non-profit Organizations’ was published by Prentice-Hall publishers in 1975, only two years after Charles was born. What a goof for a man hell-bent on deceiving poor Nigerian women that he is highly qualified and trustworthy to manage their ‘oil business’.
But then, that is not all. Upon investigations, we discovered facts regarding a trade dispute in the United States between Alta Technologies and Farmstead Holdings in which one Dike Ogwuru, the manager of Farmstead, gave an account of how Mr. Charles Dukwe, then an employee of the company, defrauded the company, emptying its accounts and fleeing the country. We gather that he spent some time in Canada before returning to Nigeria with his wife and two children to set up the Ponzi scheme known as ‘Women In Oil’.
On Thursday, 25th April 2013, the Nigerian government, through the Presidential spokesperson, Mr. Reuben Abati, released a press statement distancing itself from Women In Oil which had, hither to, promoted itself as a collaborative venture between Charles Dukwe and the federal government. It was discovered that majority of the women who subscribed to the shady oil scheme, especially those in rural areas, had done so because they were told it had the support of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Even though the press release called the Women In Oil initiative a scam, its circulation was limited to few online news blogs and fewer newspapers. How many of our rural women read newspaper or use the internet? Possibly none. While government would spend millions of public Naira to spread political propaganda, it failed to properly disseminate a public service announcement that would have prevented thousands of poor women from investing their life savings in the scam. Even NTA, the state owned broadcast medium, did not cover the report as it ought to.
To this day, the federal government has failed to investigate Mr. Charles Dukwe, the self-proclaimed ‘Money Making Machine’ and his business activities, and to shut down his firm should it (and it definitely will) be discovered to be fraudulent. He continues to collect money, through his organization and its agents, from unsuspecting Nigerian women who hope, though the initiative, for a better life.
Surprisingly, and in spite of the Presidential repudiation, a colourful portrait of President Goodluck Jonathan, intended to mislead the general public, continues to welcome visitors to the Women In Oil websites.
Invoking the CAMA
Section 13 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007, imparts the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with the duty to register and regulate the activities of venture capital funds and collective investment schemes including mutual funds. The SEC while acting in the public interest and with regards to the protection of investors, has the power to call for information from and undertake, inspect, conduct enquiries and audits of the securities exchanges, units trusts, mutual funds, capital trade points, futures and options and derivative exchanges.
The federal government, through the SEC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has a responsibility to investigate and prosecute Charles Dukwe and his conspirators for unauthorised public sale of equity rights. Moreover, the Punishment of Fraud Act makes directors criminally liable for false statements published with intent to deceive or induce anyone to become a shareholder; Mr. Dukwe is overly guilty of this too.
Preponderantly, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), drawing power from the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), has an obligation to conduct investigations into the affairs of any company where the interests of the shareholders and the public so demand. The CAC at its own instance may order an investigation if it appears to it that there are circumstances suggesting that the company’s affairs are being or have been conducted with intent to defraud its creditors, or that the company was formed for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose.
Contrary to his dubious claim that he consulted for “more than 100 US companies in over 27 industries”, Charles Dukwe worked only for Farmstead Holdings, a computer sales company which he defrauded before relocating to Canada with his family. It was in Canada that he learnt and mastered Pyramid Selling and Ponzi Scheming and then returned to Nigeria to swindle his people. Women In Oil is a fake, a scam, a swindle and a blatant fraud, and the Nigerian authorities should take appropriate actions immediately before Charles Dukwe flees to yet another country.
Dotun Briggs is a Private Investigator and the Director of Crown Investigative and Intelligence Services.
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