· Bank’s branch Manager disagrees with head office on findings
. Ogamba, seeks Justice
United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc is pitched against a Maritime Lawyer, Barr. Leonard Ogamba over a series of unauthorized withdrawals from his account amounting to over N800,000 in a fashion that suggests complicity with the internal bank members of staff and an alleged Sporty-bet crime stars.
Ogamba is seeking the intervention of the Police Fraud Unit to investigate the crime and grant him justice.” Kindly take this as my instruction to investigate and prosecute the suspects for the sake of justice,” he submitted.
In a twist, the bank’s branch Manager has rejected the forensic investigation from the UBA headquarters on the ground that there is no link between the customer’s account and Sporty bet, the suspect, insisting that the headquarters must establish a link between the customer’s account and Sporty bet, positing that the money has been traced to someone’s account with Access Bank and GTB accounts.
In his petition to the Special Police Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, dated, September 14th, 2022 and titled,”Bank Fraud/Conspiracy To Defraud At UBA Plc,21 Road Branch, Festac Town,”Lagos, Barr. Ogamba, who happens to be the President of Shippers’ Association of Lagos State(SALS), stated, “I was in the subject bank at about 3:10 pm on 6th.September, 2022 in the company of my accountant friend , Mr.John Olufemi Ojo to withdraw fifteen thousand (
N 15,000.00) from UBA ATM at the above named address to pay him for audited report he prepared for me. On getting to the bank, there was no network service and as we were waiting for network service to come up, I heard UBA bank alert notifications at about 15:27pm with strange description to wit:
“DEAR LEONARD MADUABUCHI,
Your one time password is 43151883, Expiration date 22-09-06 15:27:34. DO NOT DISCLOSE.
For inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org or Chat with LEO on 2349030010007”
“The alert wordings is strange and immediately I reported to the UBA security manning the inside gate near the ATM and he immediately called someone to inform the person through UBA intercom that a customer is complaining of unauthorized debits. The security man then handed over the intercom to me and a woman voice demanded for my account number and I obliged.
“In about two minutes later after giving out my account number while I was still thinking about what was going on, an unauthorized withdrawal of one hundred naira (
N100) only was debited to my account by one “Web Pur @ -Paystac*Sporty Ikeja N” and was followed immediately by two hundred thousand ( N200,000,.00) naira only unauthorized withdrawal.
Barr Ogamba, who is the Principal Partner of Leo Ogamba & Co., continued: “In consequence, I immediately protested to the UBA security man standing with us manning the gate near the ATM and he immediately took me inside the banking hall. The security man informed the staff at customer care while pointing at me that this is the man, that earlier gave you his account number on request and that the unauthorized withdrawal is still on going.
“The staff gave me a small paper to write my account number which I did and handed over same to her without any delay and she punched the computer laptop and to my greatest dismay, in less than two minutes, after giving her my account number, additional unauthorized withdrawals in the sum of two hundred thousand (
N200,000.00) naira only into three places was debited to my account bringing the total unauthorized withdrawals from my account to the sum of eight hundred thousand one hundred naira only, ( N 800,100.00) from 3;29pm when I first reported to 3:33pm when I was allowed inside banking hall to give my account number to the customer care staff for the second time.
“In the circumstances, I asked the staff to reverse the money and in response, she informed me that she would not be able to reverse the money because it is sporty bet transaction and that I reported after the unauthorized withdrawals had been made and that the suspect has no account.
“I reminded her to recall that I earlier gave her my account number on request immediately I noticed strange debit notification alerts on my phone through the bank’s intercom about 3:29pm. In consequence, she asked me to sit down and wait for her at about 3:34pm.
“At about 4:55pm when all the customers at customer care section have left, the staff gave me an A4 plain typing sheet to write what happened and as I was stating the facts and time of occurrence , she suddenly looked at the paper and stopped me telling me that there is no need for details and that I should go straight to the point. I told her that I do not understand.
“In consequence, she took the paper I was writing on and turned it overleaf and gave it back to me and asked me to write while she was dictating as follows: “INVESTIGATE AND RETURN UNAUTHORIZED DEBIT IN TRENCHES OF
N100, N200,000.00, N200,000.00, N200,000.00 AND N200,000.00. PLEASE TAKE THIS AS MY INSTRUCTION TO INVESTIGATE AND RETURN TO MY ACCOUNT ALL THE FUNDS ABOVE NAMED. 6th SEPTEMPER 2022 IS THE DATE OF THE TRANSACTION.” Underlined is her own choice of word, not mine.
“I requested from her to allow my friend to witness my statement, she turned than my request claiming that there was no need for that. I asked her when to get my money back. In response she said that she is not certain because that the UBA headquarters will investigate before returning the money. In the circumstances, I protested against the uncertainty of time and in consequence, the lady said that the headquarters will call me the next day being 7th.September, 2022. I left the bank.
“At about 11:02am of 7th September, 2022 I received two credit alerts in trenches of
N100 and N71,630.48 only from the same suspect with the clause “Des:TNF-Paystack/sporty refunded” I did not receive any calls from UBA as promised from 7th. September, 2022 to 9th September, 2022. In consequence I decided to have audience with the branch manager in the company of my friend, Mr. John Olufemi Ojo on 9th. September, 2022 at about 11; 45am on the outcome of the investigation but I was told that the branch manager was not on seat.
“In the circumstances, I decided to see the man next to the branch manager, Mr. Seun.
I narrated the matter to him as above stated, and he denied knowledge of the incident.
“In consequence, Mr. Seun called one Victory through the intercom but was told she was not on seat to react to my complaint. Briefly, thereafter, a staff came up and the following discussion ensued:
Seun: This oga is here now and I don’t know if you know them.
Staff: Looking at me, she said: erroneous transfer, we are working on it.
Seun: Oga said they have returned some money.
Staff: Aaa they returned some money?
Seun: He said they have returned seventh one thousand something.
Staff: Ok as we explained to you that day, it is sporty bet account. They split it to different accounts, it is those ones they were able to recover that they returned to you. As they are recovering the money they will be transferring to your account. So it will not come back to that
N200,000.00, N200,000.00 because they have split the money to different sporty bet accounts.
Seun: What is the closure comment?
Staff: We only logged for charge back. It is this charge back they are using to refund.
Seun: You don’t understand, what is the feedback?
Staff: They are working on it, It is not a transaction they refund back at once.
they will not close completely. They are still investigating on the account. That is how they will close it.
Seun: We invited a prosecutor from headquarters and asked him. If customer complained about unauthorized debit, are they not supposed to reply with comment?
Prosecutor: there will be comment if the customer compromised.
Seun: What is turnaround time(TAT)?
Staff: Sorry sir, I am supposed to copy you. I will go and check, give me account number.
Prosecutor: I can check it for you.
Seun: I want to check but I can’t see anything. and he handed over the account to the staff.
Staff: Ok, I am coming sir, Let me go downstairs and check
Customer(me): Seun, thank you , so if I didn’t come this staff would not have reported to their superior officer, Let me tell you, if this staff blocked my account at the first time the security man called her, and I gave my account number; money would not have left my account. Do you understand?
Seun: Yes, exactly.
Staff: speaking to Seun and prosecutor separately at the other table told them to wit: I am the one that picked the call. He was calling the account number and I was calling for Bukolar. Ask him.
Seun: Oga come, who did you say that you called?
Customer(me): I restated the preceding paragraphs. The prosecutor having studied the unauthorized transactions on the bank record said to wit:
Prosecutor: The unauthorized hundred naira (N100) debit was when the suspect was trying to open the count. I think that this is a present card transaction and that it means that the owner of the ATM card used it to play bet and that he didn’t finish his money, in consequence Paystack sporty (the suspect) refunded balance.
Customer(me): I asked him how is it possible for me to be within the bank with my ATM card waiting to withdraw money and at the same time playing bet at Ikeja with the same card and at this time in the bank instructing its staff to block my account against unauthorized debits? Does it imply that the suspect opened my account for me with hundred naira authorized debit?
Prosecutor: Instructed the staff to refer the matter to the bank’s headquarters for forensic analyses.
Customer (me): When am I getting result? What is your name?
Prosecutor: Check on Tuesday, 13/9/22. I am ‘ozuruonye’
Customer(me): On 13/9/22, I in the company of my friend, Mr. Ojo had a meeting with the bank manager. The result of the Bank’s investigation confirmed customer’s earlier statement that his account was not blocked as at 15;29pm when he gave his account number to the customer care staff: whom were identified as Victory and Bukola.
The bank manager after reading the log from the Bank’s Headquarters said the investigation shows that part of the money went to somebody’s account in access bank, another part went in GTB etc, and that the ATM card was comprised. I asked her how did I compromise my ATM card? The manager who claimed to be hearing about the incident which happened in her branch since 6/9/22, said that she does not know, that the investigation has not established a link between the customer’s account and the suspect, Sporty bet, and questioned why the owners of the accounts where the money entered have not been invited to explain who paid the money into their accounts and how. The manager blamed customer care staff for not allowing me into the banking hall in the time of emergency to see the effort she claimed to have made to block the account. I asked the manager what next? She said I should go and investigate while she asked the customer care staff to send message back for advanced forensic investigation.”
Meanwhile, Ogamba, added that“The security man who called customer care and handed over the intercom to me was said not be around each day I went to the bank for the matter. I further asked the manager, since the bank knows about ‘this fraudulent web transactions’ why is it that the bank has not at least pasted posters by their ATM boots all over her nationwide branches to alert her customers about this scam. No answer from her.
“My friend who is an accountant asked the bank manager, how Paystack/Sporty ( the suspect) which she and customer staff claim that its account exists in the air refunded
N100 and N71,630.48 respectively on 7/9/22, a day after the incident? The bank manager in response said leave that one,”he added.