N1bn fraud rocks Abuja branch of UBA

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*Driver’s account credited with N1bn in deliberate error

*Threatened with death

*Denied salary for 22 months

*EFCC investigations (one fake, one real) on the matter

A seemingly usual means of defrauding customers of their funds rebounded recently in the United Bank for Africa (UBA Plc) in what has bothered on injustice on a driver whose account was supposed to be used as the conduit, and has been denied 22 months salaries, and is being threatened with death for complaining.

According to gongnews the massive fraud, which an insider claimed is a regular feature in the nation’s banking sector is presently, officially, before the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, (EFCC), which has waded into the N1billion fraud that took place at the Area 3 branch of the United Bank for Africa, (UBA).

The bank, in 2011, credited his account with N=1,000,000,000:00 (One billion Naira) with account number 02680600005153, domiciled at the Area 3 branch, Abuja. The shocked driver in a bid to be transparent simply walked into a web that tried to turn the table against him.

In a petition to the anti-graft commission, dated 30th September, 2013, Mr. Peter Ujah, a contract staff with the UBA, was employed by Norwood Executive Drivers Management, on 10th October 2009 and seconded to UBA Area 3. He was attached to the e-banking section. Attached to the petition are letters of his appointments.

Ujah, in the petition to EFCC wrote, “On 3rd January, 2011, I received an alert on my GSM mobile phone that one billion Naira had been paid into my account No 02680600005153, at Area 3 branch of UBA” he stated

He added, “subsequently, following this strange but deliberate transactions by the management, I reported to the Customer service, same day from where I was referred to Madam Imeh, the branch Manager in charge of Area 3, who later directed me to Isaac Peter, the business administration officer who again told me it was beyond him and directed me to Mr. Shina, an Account officer at the Garki Corporate service office of UBA, in Abuja”

“Mr. Shina, in a move that smack of delay to enable the management complete the internal manipulation which the bank is known for told me he will get back to me”

Indeed, if Ujah, the embattled driver was expecting any respite, it came inform of an invitation to a meeting with a crack management staff of the Bank, led by Chike Mofunanya, the supervisor e- banking and Kayode Ajangbadi, the Head of Human Resources.

Other staff at the meeting include Mrs Naomi, the branch manager and John Edibo, Head of posting at Area 3 and other management staff from other branches within Abuja, in attendance.

According to Mr. Ujah, “I was later made to understand that the meeting was a disciplinary committee meeting.’’

Continued he said “Curiously, the disciplinary committee/panel requested me to write a statement on how the money got into my account, the panel however, changed its decision, that I should give an oral statement while a secretary was appointed to take note.

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While this was going on my account was frozen by the management, worried by this development, as I could not access my salary and my savings, without any explanations or query, but was just left hanging in the bank for some months without being sacked, I discussed the matter with one of my cousins, Gabriel Igoche, then a staff of Chevron Texaco, Abuja who claimed he will help me through one Adamu, who he claimed is a staff of EFCC”

“Adamu who I could not established his identity, through Igoche directed me to leave the office on a particular date, as the EFCC officials were coming to carry out arrest of the some staff within the Bank.

I was later told the said Adamu, the EFCC officer, who I only spoke with on his GSM No.08036111123, later led a team of EFCC officials to arrest Mr. Edibo, Head of posting, the investigation officer, internal control UBA from Adetokumbo Ademola branch of UBA, Abuja and the Assistant branch manager, Ambrose Ondoma from Area 3.”

According to Mr. Ujah, in his petition, the EFCC team led by Adamu claimed the staffers arrested were released the following day. “But as a complainant, I was never and up till now invited” he said.

Investigations at the EFCC office showed that the fraud was never reported officially at the Commission, before the 30th September, 2013 petition by Ujah, to the commission.

Curiously, in November, 2012, after the purported arrest and detentions, the management of UBA again invited Ujah, to another meeting at the Maitama branch of UBA. “I was asked the similar question of how the money got into my account and the date of my appointment, after the explanations, I was asked to return back to my duty post at Area 3. Since then I have been in the office, without salary, until 23rd July, 2013 when I formally wrote to my employers, Norwood Executive Drivers Management to inform them of my plight, the management in a response expressed shock over the development, after my meeting with them at Maitama, in Abuja and promised to get back to me”

“This is the 22nd month, after I have neither been queried nor terminated because from all indications, Norwood still receives their monthly deductions from my salary, because the staff insurance initiative by UBA, domiciled at the IBTC, which I am a beneficiary, still send me alert”

Interestingly, Ujah claimed in his petition, that he has been receiving threat messages and phone calls from those he suspected as the agent of UBA warning him of the implications of crying out.

 

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