Hey Comics Meltdown Group,
Yesterday, one of our members Mr. Gbenga Lawal brought a situation to our notice.
In his post, he alleged that the Convener of Lagos Comic Con, Mr. Ayodele Elegba Scammed him of 3 million Naira. He further pleaded for our help to compel Mr. Elegba to return his money and publicize this issue .
Seeing the serious nature of his claims, the admin of the Comics Meltdown, Naijagakure and Anime Exchange investigated his claims. Further to this, Mr Lawal thereto notified us/provided documentary evidence for his claims and we premise our findings on his documents.
We considered his claims purely on their merit since it seems that Mr. Ayodele Elegba is not ready or willing to take our request for a response from him seriously. It is noteworthy that, if or/and when we are able to confirm from Ayodele Elegba or we have information that is sufficient to change our finding and decision, we will change our stance immediately.
To reach a decision we examined:
– Emails between both parties
– Financial statements (or lack thereof)
We established the following:
-1. Mr Lawal wanted to organize his own Comic Con (Abuja Comic Con). He went to Mr Elegba for advise upon which Mr Elegba advised him to invest his funds into Lagos Comic Con(LCC) so that he would have more funds for his own event.
-2. Mr. Elegba via a document known as “FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS AND BUDGET FOR LAGOS COMIC CON 2018” assured Mr. Lawal that the LCC would return “N16,900,000 total profit after invested cost” of which “N5,070,000” would be his own return. In Mr. Elegba’s word in the email and document he said “However i must say this is just a forecast and we could make more than this and God forbid maybe a little less”. This email made his ensuing action very confusing.
-3. Mr. Elegba and Mr. Lawal signed an MOU which made the amount invested by Mr. Lawal a nonrefundable investment. Mr. Lawal notes here that he signed the MOU with little Legal Advice purely out of trust of Mr. Elegba’s standing in the industry.
-4. The LCC 18 happened and after Mr. Elegba notified Mr Lawal that his investment of 3 million was gone and he forwarded N150,000 to Mr. Lawal as his cut of the profit. Mr. Elegba did not show his bank records or actual books to Mr. Lawal to support his claims. He instead forwarded some word documents typed by his hands of expenditure and profits.
Before we give our decision on this contingency as The Admin of the Comics Meltdown Group, we must say we find this situation completely unacceptable and abhorrent. Merely going through the documents forwarded by Mr. Lawal, there were several discrepancies in the Contract, in the documentation, that clearly point to intent to outsmart Mr. Lawal from the get-go.
While we will say, Mr. Elegba’s actions are perfectly Legal as far as the contract goes, his refusal to share his bank records with an investor to support his claims, his recent statements (recanted by Mr. Lawal) of “the money is gone” which differ from his initial assurances compels us to believe that there is more to this than meets the eye.
His actions of refusing to share proper documentation of the convention’s earnings, discrepancies in his estimates all point to a dearth of ethics.
Notably, earlier, members of the group, Mr Dapo Olasiyan and Shamsudeen Idris noted that despite Mr. Elegba receiving money for the Cosplay competition for LCC 17 in full, he refused to pay the sum to the winners till September 2018. A year plus after he received said sum in full and from the conclusion of the event.
We will not be part of this way of doing things.
The Nigerian Comics Industry is budding and cannot afford incidents like what has happened. Trust is the basis for growth and if dishonesty like this is allowed to thrive, then we are only headed for disaster both as an Industry and as fans.
We are fully aware that we are merely Admin of an online group, lacking any real power of law and do not conduct ourselves as such, but, we are at liberty to determine who has access to our forum and use such as means of furthering their own agenda. We act in respect of this understanding of the extent of our authority.
We are merely a group that loves Superheroes…
…we should emulate the superheroes we believe in…
This could have happened to any of us. To trust is not err EVER, but to seek to take without returns or transparency at the very least is wrong.
The actions by the conveners of the LCC are wrong in their entirety. The are immoral without a doubt and they lack honour. They show an abject lack of apathy or basic understanding of honour. As such, we decide;
-The Lagos Comic Con and All related to them are hereby blacklisted from all our forums.
-The Lagos Comic Con and All related to them are disallowed from using our forums in any way or manner.
Our decision is clear and without any ambiguities and will be posted across all our forums.
We clearly believe that behavior like this will severely stunt the growth of the Nigerian Comics Industry both Nationally and internationally. It is therefore imperative that this matter not be kept private in any manner. We, Nigerian comics fans do not support this type of behavior, this much must be clear to the world.
In this vein, we plead and advise that all forum members who finds such actions abhorrent and morally unacceptable should do what they feel they can to spread the word to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else
We hope Mr. Lawal recoups his money and We hope all who intend to have ANY dealing or know anyone who would have such intention of dealing with Lagos comic con and of its agents will stand advised on their (LCC’s) way of doing business.
Comics Meltdown Admin.
Anime Exchange Admin.