Mr Bamise Samson Ajetunmobi And His Imagine Lenders Story
What I have learned so far:
Bamise Samson was a quiet banker who quietly did his job as a Zenith bank staff. He was with the bank for eight years before he left to start his Imagine Lenders startup in 2016. Before he joined Zenith bank, he was a graduate of Banking and Finance from Madonna University, Okija.
When Bamise set up his business in 2016, his first customers were his former colleagues. He was able to convince his colleagues in the bank to trust him with their funds in lieu of a 10 per cent monthly ROI payment.
His first investors saw their money paid promptly on time. Those investors helped the young alleged scammer to spread the word that there was a new king in town who was trustworthy and was a breath of fresh air.
Before one could say Jack Robinson, investors started flocking around Bamise with their money in return for regular monthly payments from his company. Even branch managers of commercial banks flocked to Bamise with their life savings.
Zenith bank staffers were his marketers and foot soldiers. A lot of them convinced customers that they were managing their account to invest with Bamise. Because of this head start of having your former colleagues in Zenith bank convince customers for his business, Bamise did not invest in media branding neither did he need social media influencers to influence for him online. This is why his business was not popular on social media. Only a few people like myself knew about his business before now.
I knew him before now because a Zenith bank staff told me and Ndiya Baykay Eze about him. Bamise’s phone rang non-stop from investors, convinced by his former colleagues in the bank and those callers who want to invest their money with him. So, what is he doing with social media influencers (he had no reason to engage social media influencers)?
Seeing that his fortunes and investors’ money with him had quadrupled, Bamise went to lure his old colleagues at Zenith bank to join him in his new startup. He poached a lot of Zenith bank workers by offering mouth-watering salaries they could not resist and, most times, double of what they earned at Zenith bank.
Because of this, a lot of Zenith bank workers resigned in droves to join Bamise in his wild goose chase and, to be fair to them, they did not know what they signed up for. He needed the validation that Zenith bank workers were working for his startup to convince investors that he was real.
Boy! Bamise paid crazy salaries to his former colleagues who resigned to join him. Imagine earning N200k per month at Zenith bank only for Bamise to offer to pay you one million naira. You don hit gold mine be that.
Elizabeth Ajetunmobi and Bamise Ajetunmobi
With his consistent monthly payment to his investors, Bamise had this brainwave: why not open Imagine Lenders office abroad to cater for Nigerians in the diaspora who have been making enquiries on how to invest with his business in lieu of monthly ROI payment?
Imagine Lenders offices in China, Ghana, Dubai, South Africa and London were born and these offices were set up to attend to only Nigerians in diaspora who wished to invest in his business with their funds for monthly payment.
As the investors’ money with him grew to an excess of $50 million dollars at the last count, the young man knew he had to change his lifestyle to reflect his new status. He bought a duplex at Ned Okonkwo’s Victoria crest project in Lekki Lagos and paid cash upfront. He is now a big boy, so money is not a problem. The only problem is how to spend it. He also bought a house in the UK and in Dubai to reflect his new status as a billionaire.
To also reflect his status as a man of means, a man of timbre and calibre, Bamise also bought a citizenship passport of Antigua and Barbuda for his wife, himself and his two kids. He paid over $50,000 to be able to do this, my source told me.
Bamise loves God as he worships at Pastor Sam Adeyemi’s DayStar church. He was even a worker with the church and does not miss Sunday service except he is not in Lagos. As a child of God, his monthly tithe runs into millions of naira. He was one of the biggest spenders in Sam Adeyemi’s church. God has blessed his hustle, so he needs to show his gratitude by giving back generously to the church and he did so on a scale never seen before.
Elevation Church in Lekki was one of his investors. Godman Akinlabi, the senior pastor of the church, invested over N500 million with Bamise in lieu of a 10 per cent monthly payment. Bamise was consistent in payment to the pastor and other investors who invested with him till he disappeared last month (September 2021).
Bamise was a sweet talker. His innocent looks, his love for God and the fact he has a background in finance influenced his investors to trust him with their money.
At the end of the day, the monthly ROI payment was not sustainable as Bamise was living a luxurious life on investors’ funds. So, the business with so much promise crashed like a pack of cards, just like other Ponzi businesses before it.
PiggyVest has nothing to do with the failed Ponzi scheme business that Bamise ran, so I don’t know why some of us are spreading the false news that PiggyVest invested over N2 Billion with Bamise, causing panic for PiggyVest customers. It is not good.
Such a sad story. I hope that Bamise and his fleeing wife are tracked down soon so that they can refund the investors’ the money that they ran away with.