Alleged N9.3b Fraud: First Bank Officials Freed


The Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria has absolved two  officials of The Polytechnic, Ibadan branch of First Bank Plc. of any wrongdoing in  the transfer of N9.3b into the account of a student, Durojaiye Oluyemi Job in August  2010.

In a statement, the Commissioner of Police, SFU said no fund was transferred into  any account and blamed the error on system failure in the bank.

The police officer disclosed that his men investigated a petition sent by Durojaiye  Olayemi Job, a student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan against Owumi Angela, branch  manager and Oguntowo Aderonke, Operations Manager of First Bank Plc, The  Polytechnic, Ibadan branch, and discovered that there was no fund transfer into any  customer’s account.

“The bank has not recorded any financial loss as a result of the system failure that  occurred. The error was detected and regularised within seventeen minutes of its  occurrence,” he added.

Job had alleged in his petition that on 13 August, 2010 he discovered N9,  309,039,869,19k (Nine billion, three hundred and nine million, thirty nine thousand,  eight hundred and sixty nine naira, nineteen kobo) credited into his savings account  No. 6893060001380 with the bank, as against the N4,000 balance he kept there.

He explained that he withdrew N20,000 through ATM, an amount that was above what he  believed he had in his account to convince himself that the figure he saw was real.

After the withdrawal, he approached the branch manager and operations’ manager of  the bank and both denied knowledge of the deposit.

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He went further by demanding for his statement of account, but the bank executives  refused his request and this made him to return the N20,000 he withdrew, suspecting  that the bank executives must have attempted to use his account to commit fraud.

The commissioner stated that investigation into the case led to the invitation of  the two bank executives who denied knowledge of the transactions.

On further investigation, representatives of First Bank from the inspectorate unit  at the bank’s headquarters revealed that the erroneous deposit was as a result of  system failure.
To butress this, the bank’s Chief Internal Auditor and Head of Information  Technology brought a comprehensive report of what transpired on some accounts,  including that of Job on the fateful day.

“When the system failure occurred, all First Bank Plc ATM displayed N9.3 billion for  all First Bank ATM card holders and also made all customers ATM cards to reflect the  balance on the bank internal ATM suspense account,” the bank officials stated.

—Paul Iyoghojie

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