Ifi Alexander, a resident of Lagos State, has narrated how over N1,079,995 left his mother’s account domiciled in First Bank on August 4.
While speaking with FIJ, Alexander said that his mother, Akozor Emily Nkoyenum, had a transaction at a POS stand in Abuja, where she withdrew N20,000.
According to him, after departing from the PoS stand, his mother received multiple debit alerts for a total of N1,079,995.00 from First Bank without carrying out such transactions.
“A couple of hours later, she received multiple debit alerts from the First Bank to the tune of N1,079,995.00. The debits were fraudulent, as she never initiated or authorised them.
“My mother could not reach out to the bank until the following day.
“We had to go together to their Bolingo branch on Friday, August 5, and they blocked her ATM card after receiving her complaint. We were told that the case would be referred to their fraud desk and asked to return in a week.
“We were also told that the transactions were carried out from a First Bank mobile app. This revelation came as a surprise to us, as my mother has not linked her account to the bank’s mobile app. She only uses USSD if she needs to make a mobile money transfer.
“Following our August 4 visit, we went to the bank twice again and they told us my mother’s money was transferred to OPay accounts belonging to different persons.
“My mother’s statement of account reveals that the money was transferred to the following OPay account numbers: 9033864988 belonging to Aisha Jibril, 8060687339 belonging to Ayuba Apagu, 9063576003 belonging to Oluchi Mbaeri, and 8131289303 belonging to Esther Uwah.”
FIJ found that Aisha Jibril lives in Nasarawa and Oluchi Mbaeri is in Ubiaruku in Delta State.
“The last time we went there, the bank said they had not got a reply from OPay.”
He also said that the thought of not getting a favourable response from First Bank led him to escalate the complaint to the CBN through its consumer protection department, but the apex bank failed to take any action on the complaint.
“When the First Bank was prolonging the issue and we thought we might not get a good response on time, we resolved to explore the CBN’s complaint channel.
“We reported to CBN’s consumer protection department on October 4, 2022, and we only got an automated response.
“No follow-up message has been sent to us from the CPD since then, and we are confused now.”
He also told FIJ that the incident had devastated his mother.
“My mother is worried as the money was her entire savings. Feeding is now a challenge for her and she now depends on her children. The bank has not helped us at all.”
While responding to FIJ on Tuesday, Ayomide, a customer service agent with First Bank said, “You are not the owner of the account, and I will not be able to divulge any information to you.”
“I advise that you visit the bank to resolve the matter.”
At press time, the consumer protection department of the CBN has not responded with a relevant response to FIJ’s email.