…But He Denies Any Wrongdoing
Tomi Mark-Nelson, a young Ghanaian whose quest to seek greener pastures abroad has ended up with him losing several millions of cedis, is accusing Lawyer James Abiaduka and Work Lake Limited of duping him under the pretext of helping to secure employment overseas.
Ironically, Lawyer Abiaduka also claims that it is rather the company that has lost money as it was duped by a certain Dr. Ayaya, suspected to be a Nigerian fraudster, in its efforts to secure “placement” for Tomi Mark and other applicants.
But at the heart of all these is the vexed issue of how hapless Ghanaian youth are increasingly being taken in by attractive offers of jobs overseas, particularly in Europe, America and the Middle East, which are often advertised in the media, only for them to end up becoming poorer and frustrated after paying huge sums of money that send them no further than to the offices, or, as the case may be, residence, of the advertisers.
Tomi Mark-Nelson claims that, altogether, he has lost a whopping forty-seven million, nine hundred and forty-four cedis, while one Newton Azuma, who also responded to the same advert that Marrk-Nelson responded to, also claims that he lost some twenty-six million cedis.
Whereas Newton Azuma has been fortunate enough to have about ten million cedis out of his total loss refunded to him by Work Lake Limited, Mark-Nelson is yet to receive one sou.
The predicament of Tomi Mark-Nelson and Newton Azuma started when they responded to an advert placed by Work Lake Limited in the Daily Graphic of 21st October 2004.
The advert reads, “our Client, a multi-national company seeks to urgently engage resourceful and result-oriented professional carpenters, block layers, and drivers. Prospective applicants should be ready to work in Europe, New Zealand, UAE, and Kuwait.”
Narrating his ordeal to The Ghanaian Lens, Tomi Mark-Nelson said, “since the advert said that Work Lake already has a client that is a multinational and that the client was urgently seeking to engage carpenters, drivers and block layers, I responded to the advert fully believing that since I am a professional brick layer, once there is vacancy and I get selected by Work Lake I am on my way to working for a multi-national in any of the countries mentioned above. Little did I know how wrong I was.”
“The first sign that things weren't the way Work Lake Limited made them to appear in the advert was when upon arriving at the offices of Work Lake in Accra, I met Lawyer Abiaduka who, upon introducing himself to me as the Manager of Work Lake Limited, told me that I was to sign an affidavit stating that it was I who was now instructing Work Lake to 'source for and secure employment for me abroad',” Tomi Mark Nelson recounted.
This was corroborated by Newton Azuma, who told The Ghanaian Lens that he was also asked by Lawyer Abiaduka to sign a similar affidavit.
“I signed the affidavit because the lawyer made me to understand that it was only a formality,” Tomi recounted.
He continued, “after paying what I was told was a processing fee, amounting to a total of twenty-seven million, nine hundred cedis, Lawyer Abiaduka assured me that I should expected to be working in any of the countries listed in the advert in a matter of weeks, if not days. I made the final payment on 15th April 2005.”
“However, after several weeks of being given one story after the other, my patience started running out because my friends had started laughing at me. I therefore met Lawyer Abiaduka and demanded that he should refund my monies to me. It was at this point that he told me that even though Work Lake could not secure the promised employment for me, the company could help me to secure enrolment for further studies in a university in Ukraine,” Tomi said.
“Newton Azuma and I, together with one Victor Boahene, agreed to this proposal. So from job seekers, we became school seekers, whereupon each of us was given a form, supposedly from the Ukrainian State Centre of the International Education of Ukraine, to fill for acquisition of visa to Ukraine. On the form it is stated that I was being invited by the Ukrainian State Centre of the International Education of Ukraine, to study as Kyiv Medical Institute of UKR. Assoc. of Folk Medicine,” Mark-Nelson recounted.
“Since I have no science background,” Mark-Nelson continued, “ it seemed strange to me that a medical school would be offering me a place to study medicine, even if it is just folk medicine'. I commented on this to Lawyer Abiaduka and he assured me that all that was needed was for me to get enrolled in the school and that once enrolled, I could switch courses and pursue whatever course I desired.”
“Since Ukraine does not have an embassy in Ghana, we had to travel to Guinea to obtain visas. We travelled to Guinea on three different occasions but each time, we were denied the visas because of problems with our documentation. To cut a longs story short, that also became a fiasco. That was some two years ago. Since then all efforts to get Lawyer Abiaduka and Work Lake Limited to refund my monies have proven futile,” a highly frustrated Mark-Nelson further recounted.
In an interview with The Ghanaian Lens, Lawyer Abiaduka confirmed all the details as recounted by Mark-Nelson, but denied that Work Lake duped the applicants.
Lawyer Abiaduka explained that efforts to get “placement” for Tomi Mark-Nelson and the others at the Ukraine University fell through because the company's contact man in Ukraine, one Dr. Ayaya, believed to be a Nigerian con-man, duped the company and vanished.
He said that the company is making efforts to refund all monies paid by Tomi Mark-Nelson and the others.