Omokpariola Justice, a Lagos State-based educational consultant, has accused First Bank of playing a part in the mysterious disappearance of his N396,000 from his savings account without his authorisation.
Justice told FIJ that the strange transactions impacted his account between 11 pm and midnight on June 9.
“Some transactions occurred on my bank account with First Bank on June 9 between 11 pm and midnight on that day. It was a totally strange experience because I did not authorise any transaction that day,” Justice said.
“I did not immediately receive any debit alert on June 9 when the suspicious transactions happened. However, on June 10, I received a total of 11 debit alerts from First Bank for the transactions that occurred without my knowledge.
“After I calculated the total amount withdrawn from my account through the debit alerts I received, I saw that N396,000, which was all my savings, had gone. I immediately went into a state of shock, and it took the intervention of my family members before I could return to normal.
“The transactions happened in the following order: N200,000, N100,000, N5,000, N1,000, N20,000, N10,000, N50,000, N1,000, N1,000, N3,000 and N4,000.
“The information I saw on my mobile app disclosed that the money was lodged into a SportyBet account. I don’t have a SportyBet account and I have no connection to the account my money was transferred to. I also do not place bets.”
The consultant told FIJ that he wasted no time in contacting the bank through an email and his complaint was formally received by one of its officials. He also said the bank assured him that it would investigate the fraud and report their findings to him.
“I sent an email to them on June 10 and the response I got was that they would investigate and send me their report. To my disappointment, they have not offered me any feedback since then,” Justice said.
“The bank then sent me a chargeback form to me to fill on June 11 and I have filled and returned it to them accordingly since then. It is sad that they have not helped me in getting my money back since this fraud occurred on my account.
“I am forced to think that the bank had a hand in this. It is difficult for me to catch up with their claim that they cannot trace the money. How can such an amount disappear from my account without their knowledge and they won’t have records of it?
“They keep giving me endless apologies and promises that they are still investigating.”
POLICE ASKING FOR OUTRAGEOUS AMOUNT BEFORE HELPING HIM
In search of an immediate solution, Justice said he visited Makinde Police Station in Mafoluku, Oshodi, on June 13 but was given conditions that chased him away by the officers he met on duty.
“I resolved to seek police help on my situation. But they were not ready to help me. After explaining the situation to them, the officers I spoke with demanded for N150,000 from me,” Justice said.
“I was shocked. I later told them to start work on the matter and that after we recover the money, I would give them half of half it. But they insisted that I paid them first before they could start work.
“Since then, I didn’t bother to go back to them again.”
FIJ’s calls to CSP Ade Ajisebutu for comments on the allegations went unaswered.
“I HAVE LOST MY BUSINESS AND UNABLE TO PAY RENT”
Justice said that as an educational consultant and a private home teacher, the stolen money would have played a substantial role in his family and business life.
“I have not recovered from the problem. My business has been killed and my family is currently unstable,” he said.
“In August, I lost my apartment because I could not renew my rent with my landlord. Sincerely, my family is currently living with a relative who had been generous enough to offer us temporary accommodation.”
When FIJ contacted First Bank via email for comments on the issue, the bank sent an automated response in return.
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