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N50m fraud: Lagos businessman takes case to CBN

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A Lagos-based businessman is currently seeking the
assistance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help him
recover the sum of N50million allegedly stolen from his
account by two management staff of a new generation
bank.
The victim, who identified himself as Amobi Akaegbobi,
accused officials of the bank of collecting the said sum
under the pretense of helping him to source for forex
through one of the branches of the bank located at Victoria
Garden City (VGC).
Already, a strongly-worded petition has since been sent to
the governor of the Central Bank and other relevant
agencies in the banking sector, as well as the minister of
finance.
Solicitor to the businessman, Mr. Austin Nwabufo told
reporters yesterday at the command headquarters, Ikeja,
that, “The whole sordid thing started in February and
dragged on to May 2014.’’
According to him, that was the period when the
businessman was persuaded by his accounts officer at the
bank’s branch situated at ASPAMDA International Market,
Trade Fair Centre, Lagos.
He stated that at the beginning of the transaction, his
accounting officer encouraged him to move the said amount
to their branch at Victoria Garden City to enable them help
purchase foreign exchange for his company.
“The businessman, who had in the past, relished purchasing
foreign exchange for overseas importation of goods for his
two companies, was persuaded in the reversal to change
course from his usual purchases through the bank branch
at ASPAMDA to Victoria Garden City branch.
“Two directors of the bank favoured the Victoria Garden City
branch of the bank in foreign exchange allocations and
sales as the latest banking policy.
“On the basis of this representation, the victim made the
first purchase of $50, 000, 00 after repeated pressure and
persuasion of both the account’s officer and a top
management staff of the bank serving as the Head of
Operations of the bank. After a successful purchase of the
money, the businessman, who was reluctant to continue the
said purchases from the branch, was constantly pressurised
with a minimum of not less than 20 phone calls daily by
both his account officer and the head of operations of the
bank to make more purchases, consequent upon which he
made two separate purchases of $100, 000,00 on March 6,
2014.’’
He further alleged that, “After this purchase, the
businessman, who has limited knowledge of banking
transactions, paid a total of N40million through an account
provided by the head of operations who assured him that he
should pay the money into the designated account, citing
Intra-bank Intermediary foreign exchange instructions from
the highest echelon of the bank, and believing this high
ranking officer, he fell into a trap of being swindled.”
Continuing, he said consequently upon the discovery that he
had been swindled, a petition and reminders to both the
bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria was written.
He claimed that the management of the bank who had duly
been informed had resorted to foot-dragging.
It was gathered that, though the officials were arrested and
detained by operatives of the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the instance of the authorities
of the bank, the victim is presently alleging a cover-up
against the bank.
This claim could not be immediately verified as all telephone
calls to the Head of Public Affairs of the bank were not
responded to.
He further alleged that the various bank customers who
were duped in the past and wanted their money back, were
completely fenced off during investigation.
He also claimed that some were merely brought in to act as
witnesses on behalf of the bank.
When contacted on phone, the Head of Corporate
Communication of the bank, Henry Ndiulor said he was in a
meeting. A text message to his phone on the matter was not
answered.

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