Findings has revealed that, a 70 year old woman, who is a trader, Mrs. Theresa Edet, has allegedly been defrauded by a staff of First Bank Nigeria.
The staff, Mr. Terry Osang Imafidon, we gathered, works with the insurance unit of First bank, Udo Udoma branch,Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Our findings reveal that, Mrs.Theresa Edet was approached in November 2020 by the bank staff to invest in an insurance scheme called First Bank Savings in the Insurance Unit of the Bank which according to Mr. Terry, would fetch her 5%interest every month while her main capital would still remain untill whenever she needs it.
She said, the staff presented his bank’s identity card and other relevant documents including wearing the official tag to convince her; nevertheless, before she obliged to deal with him, she still went to the bank’s branch office at Banking Layout, Udo Udoma,Uyo, to verify his claims to be a marketer employed by the bank and it was confirmed to be true by one Mrs. Ubong, the Unit Head and other staff she met on the day she made the enquiry.
Accordingly to her, since Mr. Terry was duly identified as a staff of the bank by his colleagues, it was enough for her to believe the bank is aware of his activities as an official of the company and the reason why she reposed confidence in him to carry on with his proposal.
According to an Akwa Ibom based newspaper, Sensor Newspaper, “The victim said her ordeal began when after the confirmation, Mrs. Edet afterwards was given forms by the marketer to fill and an account number to pay her deposit into to commence the transaction which accordingly to her payment slip she transferred the first tranche of N700,000 seven hundred thousand naira through her Access Bank account 0788206252 to his provided account number 3111250996.
Furthermore, another of her document shows that on the 2nd of December, 2020, Mrs. Theresa made a second payment of N1,000,000. one million naira only from her First City Monument Bank account to the same account earlier provided by the bank staff which he claimed is permited for transaction as an authorized marketer, especially as she had no First Bank account to effect direct bank to bank transfer.
Consequently, Mr. Terry paid her two hundred and fifty thousand naira(N250,000), claiming it was 5% interest of her capital, but it now dawn on her that he probably paid to convince her that the transaction was genuine as well as to lure her daughter to also invest.
She revealed that with the payment the company’s marketer succeeded in convincing her daughter, Ms. Oto-obong Kelvin to deposit, two hundred thousand naira (N200,000) only, which she transfered from her Ecobank account on the 8th of May,2021 to the same account Mr. Terry provided earlier.
Accordingly to her, since the single payment he called interest, her principal amount of 1,700,000 and agreed accommulative interests remained unremitted including her daughter’s deposit and interest which raised her suspicion.
Mrs. Edet said, based on the non remittance over a long period she suspected foul play as such she took the transaction form signed by the marketer to report to the bank a case of fraud because he was not picking his calls anymore.
Suprisingly, she said there was an attempt by the bank’s management to cover up the matter by using flimsy excuses not to give her due attention even when they acknowledged that Mr. Terry Osang Imafidon was still working with the bank at the time of reporting the matter.
She said though it was through the bank’s confirmation of his identity as employed staff that she proceeded to deal with the said Mr.Terry, the manner her report was handled showed clearly that there was crook scheme to protect the bank’s image by abruptly cutting official link with the culprit in order to create a false assumption that the transaction was not with the bank, rather was a out of bank transaction.
The head of unit, Mrs. Ubong who handled the report ignored the fact that she innocently proceeded to deal with Mr. Terry because she as a bank officer had acknowledged he was a staff and he even made the transaction with her inside office in the bank premises while others were carrying on similar duties with other clients before she transferred the funds to him.
Furhermore, according to Mrs. Edet she was given a First Bank slip signed by the marketer to hold as proof for the transaction. Besides, she said her since she was not familiar with the processes involved in insurance scheme, she did all he said he his capacity as a staff of the bank.
He capitalize on her limited knowledge and experience about insurance to use the appointment given to him to obtain her money fraudulently.
From information gathered from the Mrs. Ubong by our reporter, Mr. Terry Imafidon resigned his appointment after he was given a query, whereas, given the seriousness of case reported to the bank, it was not proper to offer him the privilege to resign instead of being sacked and handled over to the Police, except it was a conspiracy to permit him to resign in order to aid him to evade justice and to shade the bank too.
The resignation, Mrs. Edet noted further supports the allegation that the culprit is shaded because the bank does not want his conduct to be linked to it whereas he was dumy identified by the bank before the transaction was made and document of the bank was issued to her by him to link the bank.
Her allegation seems justified because it is not expected that he would be pampered with option to resign in a serious issue like that where a client fell prey to his dubious scheme while actively working as a staff of the bank and had even confessed to the crime before the head of the unit and other senior staff in her presence in the insurance office of the bank when she was invited to a meeting.
She said because of the bank’s uncomperative attitude, her efforts to get the deposit money and the accomolated interest have proved abortive even as the resignation afforded Mr. Terry the opportunity to become completely illusive while the bank is also evasive to the point of Mrs. Ubong does not want to see the victim in the bank or pick her phone to respond to the case.
However, according to her when she made attempt to still pursue the matter through the bank she was warned strongly not to involved the bank and not to come again to the bank on the issue, rather she was told to go and find Mr. Terry to collect her money through whatever manner she chooses.
Not satisfied by the manner the bank is trying to disentangle itself from the fraud, even when at the crime was committed he was still working officially as staff marketer and kept working months afterwards before disappearing.
Mrs. Edet said she made the report officially to EFCC because he defrauded her in cause of his official assignment assigned to him by the bank which was to solicit for clients by convincing prospetive investors to deposit to gain interest.
She revealed that she also contacted a lawyer to formally write to the bank for refund with interest but up till time of this report, nothing has been done to return her and her daughter’s money by the bank.
Inside sources from the bank said Mr. Terry was given a soft landing to enable him relocate out of the state in order to frustrate the matter so that the bank will use his resignation to exenorate itself from complicity in the fraud.
According to information at her disposal, the culprit was paid his entitlement to enable relocate to Lagos State in order to avoid pestering of the bank and himself by the victims.
She said while the bank has blocked every information demanded to help her recover her and her daughter’s money, EFCC which she resorted to has not apprehended the culprit as the agency said they are still tracking him.
Unfortunately, the woman is now down with stroke,a development that has caused the victim to raise alarm for the relevant authourities to help her recover her money so she can take care of her health and needs of her family.
The sick woman is therefore calling on concern public who have information on the Terry to feed EFCC while also appealing to the management of First Bank at the head office to wade into the matter because it is likely that they are not aware of the true situation in their local branch.”
Efforts to speak with the Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Ismaila were not successful as he did not respond to sms sent to his phone.