12 July 2016

Teacher defrauds 600 businessmen

Teachers to strike May 31Philip Adzokatse, a teacher at the Podoe Junior High School (JHS) in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, has allegedly defrauded over 600 individuals under the pretext of keeping their monies safe in his credit facility – Norvi Nedude Fan Club.

The affected persons – mostly businessmen and women, as well as farmers – are, therefore, appealing to the police, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to arrest the teacher, so they could recover their savings.

According to them, the fraudulent behaviour of the teacher-turned-credit manager had inflicted untold hardship on them, because their economic activities had come to a halt due to lack of funds.

The victims, who were hopeful of making some returns on their investments with which they could re-invest into their businesses, told The Chronicle that they realised they had made a wrong decision when Mr Adzokatse refused to pay benefits that had accrued out of their contributions after every six months.

Explaining how they got into contact with the alleged fraudster, the victims said Mr. Adzokatse approached them individually in 2014, and introduced them to the Norvi Nedude Fan Club, which he made them believe was a profitable organisation that would benefit them immensely.

Convinced that that it would help improve their standard of living, they registered and made financial commitments in various sums to the JHS teacher.

In his narration, one of the aggrieved members of the Fan Club, Mr. Felix Clintson, said the manager of the club, after he had successfully mobilised a few members of in 2014, clearly outlined the rules and regulations, which included the amount each member would contribute – GH¢2 weekly and GH¢40 monthly.

This was announced at a general meeting held in all the communities, including Ho, Anyirawase, Tadzewu, Aflao and Adaklu, where they were also told the payment would be made for six months, to enable them to receive GH¢5,000 worth of building materials, television sets, refrigerators and radio cassette recorders.

Mr. Clintson continued that he contributed his dues up to six months, hoping to enjoy some benefits, but to his surprise, Adzokatse, at a point, only called a meeting at Juapong to graduate those who had successfully completed their contributions.

Instead of handing the physical of GH¢5,000 him, Mr. Adzokatse told him that he would rather put the money in his account to avoid the situation where criminals would attack him and collect the money on his way back home.

Mr. Clintson said he called Mr. Adzokatse on his cell phone at one time to find out whether he had credited his account. Even though he responded in the affirmative, checks at the bank showed only GH¢1,300 had been credited.

He said Mr. Adzokatse refused to pay the rest of the money, until recently when he made part payment, and was still left with GH¢1,500 to be paid to him, noting that it was clear to him and other members of the Fan Club that the Manager had defrauded them.

Another victim, Mr. Horve Bedzrah at Anyirawase, said Mr. Adzokatse only paid him GH¢3,500 instead of GH¢5,000, and had refused to pay the outstanding GH¢1,500 for the past seven months, adding that the manager would no longer pick his calls – a clear indication that Mr. Adzokatse had deliberately refused to pay the rest of the money.

Mr. Bedzrah alleged that information available to him indicated that Mr. Adzokatse was rather investing their monies in a “susu” group he belonged to, as well as estate development and a transport business, all for his personal gain.

Madam Comfort Kpogo, a resident of Ho, who is also another victim, told this reporter that she contributed the weekly and monthly dues for the six months to qualify for the graduation and collection of the package, but was given half of the materials and promised to be given the rest at a later date.

Madam Kpogo stated that she became suspicious of the conduct of Mr. Adzokatse when he asked her to deceive her colleagues that she had collected the items whenever she was asked. That was his way of encouraging them to continue with the contribution of their dues.

When contacted, Mr. Adzokatse refuted the claim, but agreed to paying and giving building materials and other benefits to qualified members. However, he was not able to sustain the payment and other benefits, as initially planned, because there was no money in the accounts of the Club for the purpose.

Mr. Adzokatse told The Chronicle that he formed the Norvi Nedude Fan Club, as a teacher, to support people to live more decent lives. The fan club, he mentioned, operates like “susu”, and that there was no profit in running the club.

He explained that his inability to comply with the rules and regulations, as stipulated to members, should not be seen as fraud. He regarded his business as a genuine one, because he had registered the “Norvi Nedude Fan Club” with the Registrar General, and had been renewing his registration, as demanded by law.

But, he said it was unfortunate that for some time now he had been unable to deliver on his promise, according to the regulations under which he ran the Fan Club, even though the members had completed their contributions within the six months period

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