Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc was dragged to a federal court in the United States for his involvement in the alleged rape and psychological manipulation of the wife of a Nigerian businessman Kevin Ajenifuja with the intention of stealing his trade secrets, documents obtained by Peoples Gazette has said.
In a lawsuit filed by Mr Ajenifuja on August 2, 2019, he alleged that Mr Onyema, drugged his 22-weeks pregnant wife, Anita, and made arrangements on how young men sexually took advantage of her, all with the intention of stealing his trade secrets.
The businessman told the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that he had developed the technique and process of a sector exchange-traded funds for Africa in June 2004, after over 10 years of research.
But he alleged that the NGX boss precisely on February 8, 2010, connived with some World Bank Group employees and Nigeria’s business magnate Aliko Dangote to invite Ms Anita to a meeting at a Catholic mission in Washington, D.C., where she was allegedly given illicit drugs.
Ms Anita was also given opioid medications on a regular basis, which she became addicted to. She subsequently engaged in extramarital affairs with young men near Washington, and the troubling situation was used to blackmail her into turning against her husband until she handed over his trade secrets to Mr Onyema and his associates.
The businessman only confirmed the theft of his trade secrets in December 2016 after several investigations.
“Defendants Dangote, Onyema, NSE and WBG, directly and indirectly, including through other intermediaries, orchestrated an elaborate scheme to blackmail Anita Koepcke and coerced her to steal Plaintiffs trade secrets from their Washington, DC home. Plaintiff confirmed the theft of his trade secrets on or about December 2016,” the document said.
It was learnt that Mr Onyema’s “extreme and outrageous” conduct caused the plaintiff emotional distress, as these resulted in issues between Mr Ajenifuja and his wife.
In his lawsuit, Mr Ajenifuja said it was around December 20, 2014, that he searched for the missing copies of the trade secrets and suspected that they had been stolen by Mr Onyema and his associates via Ms Anita.
The businessman alleged that the trade secrets were sold to Vetiva Funds Managers Limited, Lagos.
Vetiva Sector Series Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) comprising the Vetiva Banking ETF, Vetiva Consumer Goods ETF, and Vetiva Industrial ETF was announced on July 7, 2015.
“Defendants Dangote, Onyema, NSE and WBG have intentionally interfered with Plaintiffs business relationships with potential investors, and business associates, and partners by spreading false, damaging and misleading information about the Plaintiff,” the document said.
A spokesman for Vetiva did not return requests seeking comments. Mr Onyema referred The Gazette to lawyers at NGX, saying they will clarify all allegations in the court filings. But the lawyers failed to respond to the allegations for several weeks, even after initially promising to respond urgently after we sent the court documents to them. The lawyers were also silent after several reminders were sent to them.
The court also heard how Mr Onyema and his associates caused distress for the plaintiff by “defaming and sabotaging Plaintiff’s ability to find a decent job and make a decent living, endangering the well-being and welfare of Plaintiff s children, and making Anita Koepcke opioids dependent.”
The businessman said the affairs caused “severe emotional suffering because his home was foreclosed by the mortgage company as a result of loss of income,” the documents said.
Mr Ajenifuja had also demanded $1 billion as the least compensatory damages against Mr Onyema and others for the alleged theft of his trade secrets.
But in their separate motions, Messrs Onyema, Dangote and others named in the charges sought to dismiss the case on the grounds that it was statute-barred.
The court, however, closed the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, prompting Mr Ajenifuja to inform his lawyers about filing the case in another court that could assert jurisdiction.