How N900,000 vanished from customer’s First Bank account due to negligence, prioritising N80 service charge over safeguarding th money

How N900,000 vanished from customer’s First Bank account due to negligence, prioritising N80 service charge over safeguarding th money

A Lagos based trader named Muibat Olayemi has accused First Bank of Nigeria of negligence resulting in the loss of N900,000 from her account to un

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A Lagos based trader named Muibat Olayemi has accused First Bank of Nigeria of negligence resulting in the loss of N900,000 from her account to unknown persons.

Narrating the ugly incidence, her son, Jamiu Olayemi revealed how a man approached his mother as an Airtel service agent on October 10, asking for her phone in order to determine whether her National Identity Number (NIN) was linked to her phone number.

The next day, Muibat visited the First Bank branch in Abule Egba, Lagos State and realised that N190,000 had been deducted from her bank account.

Jamiu said he told the bank that he wanted no one else to have access to his mother’s bank account and suggested the bank deactivate the USSD and internet banking services on the account.

He then asked for a statement of account to enable him figure out how the money disappeared, but the bank asked him to lift the block order on the account to enable them to retrieve their N80 service charge for the statement of account, only for the remaining money in the account, totalling N900,000 to vanish.

“A man came to my mother’s shop claiming to work with Airtel. He asked my mother for her phone and said he wanted to do something about her NIN. My mom had been having issues with her phone. She could make calls but couldn’t receive calls. So, she innocently gave the man her phone. This was on October 10. I don’t know what he did to the phone, but my mother found out that about N190,000 had been deducted from her bank account when she went there the following day.

“My mom called to notify me of her missing money. I advised her to tell her bank to block the account, which was done. The next day, which was October 12, I went to the bank to confirm how the money left my mother’s account. They told us that the money left the bank account via USSD. I asked for a statement of account and the bank officials told me to write to the bank to unblock the bank account.

“I wrote to the bank and got the account statement. The statement showed that the money left her account in N20,000 recharge bits and N10,000 transfers to a few other bank accounts. When I saw this, I asked the bank for an investigation into the accounts the stolen money went into.

“I told them that the account should be locked and only my mother should be able to make withdrawals at the bank. So, I was surprised when my mom called me to tell me that her remaining funds had been deducted from the same account. This was on October 18.

“This was a bank account that was supposed to be under investigation. I didn’t know why they did not disable the USSD after I told them to block the account. When I saw the account statement on October 18, I noticed that the money was deducted in N20,000 and N10,000 bits,” he said.

According to FIJ, the Abule Egba branch manager refused to attend to Jamiu until he and his mother went to complain at the Meiran Police Division.

“They told me to do whatever I wanted to do. So, I called the First Bank contact centre and discovered that the account was never under investigation. They did nothing, and their negligence led to the loss of the N900,000 left in my mother’s account. The branch manager attended to us because we brought the Meiran Police Station’s IPO to the bank,” Jamiu said.

“It was when I went to First Bank’s headquarters in Marina that I was told that the branch wanted me to unblock the bank account to retrieve a service charge for the statement we requested, not for an investigation. I was directed to First Bank’s fraud unit, and we made some progress.

“They allowed us to lose N900,000 because of an N80 service charge. First Bank has queried the Abule Egba branch for this already, but we want a refund of what we’ve lost. If the first theft of N190,000 was our fault, the N900,000 was due to the negligence of that bank. This has taken a serious toll on my mom’s wellbeing and business. My mother has nothing left in her purse. She’s been down ever since.”

Below are copies of Muibat Olayemi’s statement of account as printed on October 18