Dozie Mmobuosi and his castle of phantom lies: How he faked the true nature of Tingo Group’s success, his brush with EFCC, others

Dozie Mmobuosi and his castle of phantom lies: How he faked the true nature of Tingo Group’s success, his brush with EFCC, others

A few months ago, Nigerian born Dozy Mmobuosi's name was on the lips of many on account of his £90 million takeover of Sheffield United attempt. It

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A few months ago, Nigerian born Dozy Mmobuosi’s name was on the lips of many on account of his £90 million takeover of Sheffield United attempt.

It was reported that Mmobuosi who touts himself as being a Nigerian technology entrepreneur and worth over £7 billion was in the final stages of acquiring the Yorkshire side.

But latest discoveries now show that Mmobuosi the founder of Tingo Mobile PLC, an Agri-Fintech company that aims to help farmers mainly in Africa, but also around the world and manage their sales using smartphones, may be nothing more than a fraud disguising as a businessman of repute.

His once-celebrated entrepreneurial journey now faces intense scrutiny and uncertainty. Mmobuosi now finds himself entangled in a web of deceit as a recent news report exposes a series of alleged fraudulent activities.

He is being accused of orchestrating an exceptionally apparent scam, with allegations of completely fabricated financials.

As the accusations reverberate throughout the business world, questions arise about the true nature of Tingo Group’s success and the extent of Mmobuosi’s involvement in deceptive practices. Tingo Group claims to have diversified business interests in mobile phones, food processing, and online food marketplace for farmers primarily located in Nigeria.

Investigations by Hindenburg Research, a US investment research firm focused on activist short-selling, revealed that Mmobuosi made false claims, including the development of Nigeria’s first mobile payment app, which have now been debunked. Checks with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that it has no record of Tingo being a mobile licensee at all, despite company claims of having 12 million mobile customers.

Moreover, his assertion of obtaining a PhD from Universiti Putra Malaysia in rural advancement has been refuted by the university’s verification system, failing to find his name. The report also uncovers instances where Mmobuosi posted images of airplanes belonging to other airlines, masquerading as his own fleet for the purported launch of Tingo Airlines in 2019. It has since been revealed that he never owned any actual aircraft.

Additionally, Mmobuosi’s audacious scheme involved an ambitious plan to raise $500 million and list Tingo Group on the NYSE, garnering international media attention.

As a result of the exposé, Block & Leviton, a prominent law firm known for suing Elon Musk, has initiated an investigation into potential violations of securities law.

He is also being accused of lying about its $1.6 billion food processing plant, as well as some of its partnerships and products. Hindenburg Research said it visited Tingo Mobile’s office in Nigeria and found only a handful of employees and a sign posted on its door by federal tax authorities stating that the company is delinquent on its tax obligation.

The firm also accused Mmobuosi of fabricating parts of his personal and professional history.

“We’ve identified major red flags with Dozy’s background. For starters, he appears to have fabricated his biographical claim to have developed the first mobile payment app in Nigeria. We contacted the app’s actual creator, who called Mmobuosi’s claims a pure lie.

“In 2017, Mmobuosi was arrested and faced an 8-count indictment over issuance of bad checks, according to the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He later settled the case in arbitration,” according to the research house’s report.

In April 2023, Tingo’s co-chairman wrote a public letter to Mmobuosi, filed with the SEC, saying he could not approve the company’s annual report and felt it necessary to recuse himself by resigning due to many critical questions, comments and recommendations that went unanswered and unheeded. The research firm also said it observed several errors and typos in Tingo’s financial statements.

“We strongly suspect Tingo’s cash balance, which it conveniently claims is held in Nigeria, is fake. The company collected only ~12% of the interest income one would expect from its claimed cash balances. Overall, we think Tingo is a worthless and brazen fraud that should serve as a humiliating embarrassment for all involved. We do not expect the company will be long for this world,” the report read.

The revelations have cast a shadow on Mmobuosi’s previously celebrated image as a trailblazing African tech entrepreneur, attracting cover features in Forbes Africa and GQ South Africa.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, not much is known about his childhood but he reportedly received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State. He also received his Master of Science degree in economics from the same university.

He claimed to have completed his doctorate in rural advancement from Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2007, however recent reports have not been able to verify this claim. In March 2022, Mmobuosi claimed to have completed the Advanced Management and Leadership Programme at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.