Multiple Fraud Scams Rock Keystone Bank
- Messy Details Of How Top Staffers Steal Customers Money
- Real Reasons Former MD, Oti Resigned
Keystone bank customers have continued to wonder how safe their deposits are over several fraud scams which the bank is currently swimming in. One of such issue is how about N89million Naira was allegedly deducted illegally from a Customer`s account.
The customer, Pan Fedam Marble and Granite Limited through its Human Resource/Executive, Mrs. Ihechi Chikezie, alleged that between February and September, 2006, the quantum of the deposit in the account of the company together with the withheld interest accruable thereto and the bogus charges thereon stood at N895,811,826.
The company made numerous requests to the officers of the bank to reverse the said banking error and to release the funds in it, the bank failed to accede to the said requests and with knowledge that massive fraud had been committed in the said account, the company complained to relevant agencies.
Mrs. Chikezie averred further that the bank neither denied nor contended that it was not indebted to the company. At the conclusion of the investigation, the officers of the bank admitted the fraudulent deductions in the sum of N89,767,000.00. The said officers refused to commit the aforesaid admission into writing but pledged to forward a cheque in like sum to the company within a reasonable time but nothing was done.
Pan Fedam Marble and Granite Company was alerted to have complained to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, and National Deposit Insurance Corporation of its intention to bring a civil action to recover the sum it was defrauded by the bank.
Benco News can also report that unknown to people that the resignation of its former Managing Director/ CEO, Mr. Oti Ikomi was due to health reasons, it has been revealed that the managing director resigned to avoid a disgrace following allegation of a multi-million naira fraud which was perpetrated during his time at the helm of the financial institution.
Impeccable sources alleged that Mr. Oti Ikomi, under the pretense of loan disbursement, employed the bank’s fund to finance his private business Interglobal Technology Ltd. Inter Global Technology Limited (IGT) is an engineering company that service clients in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region in the area of Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineering. The company has built over 600 cell sites in Nigeria and its environs. It was gathered that Mr. Ikomi engaged his brother-in-law simply known as Stephen to front for the business.
Those in the know alleged that the former Keystone Bank MD approved about N1billion loan within six months to finance projects of Inter Global. Findings have it that a recent audit of the bank’s finances exposed the extent to which Ikomi had eaten into the bank’s purse. It was gathered that Ikomi was summoned by the bank’s board of directors to an emergence meeting to explain reasons for approving such huge loan to Interglobal Technology without collateral and the absence of a repayment plan.
An insider of the bank claimed that the board of Keystone bank advised Ikomi to resign honorably with any excuse of his choice in order to avoid a dent to his reputation. This prompted Ikomi, last to tender his resignation with the pretense of failing health.
Similarly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Mrs. Nneka Nwilene, a top manager of the bank at the Federal High Court III, Port Harcourt , Rivers State on a six count charge of Stealing and Diversion of Funds from customers’ accounts.
Mrs. Nwilene is the Assistant General Manager of Keystone Bank, Trans Amadi branch, Port Harcourt , Rivers State.
She was alleged to have on the 22nd day of February, 2010 stole the sum of thirty five million naira (N35,000,000) by fraudulently transferring same from a Keystone Bank account number 0572100177 with the Bank to a Keystone Bank account number 005305000008 in favour of Daba Williams, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 383(1) and punishable under Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code Act Cap. C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria , 2004”.
The arrest of Nwilene followed a complaint by Mrs. Victoria Ekezie, a customer with Keystone Bank, who requested for her account statements only to discover that the N35, 000,000 (Thirty Five Million Naira) in her fixed deposit account had been liquidated in favour of one Mrs. Daba Williams, without her authorisation.
It was later discovered that Mrs. Nwilene had depleted funds from the account of Mrs. Williams, hence she decided to ‘Rob Peter to pay Paul’, by liquidating the Fixed Deposit Account of the complainant, Mrs. Ekezie to fund the depleted account of Mrs. Williams.
Further investigations into the activities of Nwilene, revealed that she had been pilfering from customers’ accounts successfully and unchecked, due to her elevated position at the bank.
Investigation also showed that she remitted part of her loot into one Chelsea Amber Nigeria Company Limited account, a company owned by her.
Also a customer of the bank, Miss Ivuoma Ochied has urged a Lagos State High Court, Lagos Island, to order the bank to pay her N3,152, 280 allegedly withdrawn from her savings account by an unknown person.
She asked for N5million being general damages she suffered “by reason of the defendant’s negligence,” cost of the action, accrued interest on the account , 21 per cent interest on the sum until judgment is delivered and 10 per cent interest until debt is paid.
Ochiedike claimed she opened a savings account with the bank at its branch at 21 Road, Festac while working with the mobile giant, MTN Nigeria.
She said she discovered when she checked her balance on October 11, 2012 that N315,228 which she was saving for her post-graduate studies had been withdrawn by someone in Enugu State.
An officer of the bank told her she had only a minimum deposit of N1,528 and that she could not make any further withdrawals.
“The Branch Manager told me if I had an SMS alert, it should have alerted me early enough, given the number of withdrawals made to my account,” Ochiedike told the court.
She alleged that the bank never refunded the money, not told her the outcome of an investigation they said they would conduct.
Her lawyer, Chimezie Chinaka, said in her statement of claim: “The non-provision of any sort of security measures by the defendant gave the predator the leverage he/she needed to harvest the claimant’s hard-earned savings for a very long time, until the claimant discovered it by accident, albeit too late.
“At the time the claimant entered into banker-customer relationship with the defendant, the defendant did not inform the claimant that it had abdicated its sacred role as the custodian of its customer’s funds.”
Ochiedike claimed she has suffered emotional stress, constant headache, depression and general body pains as part of the physical and psychological symptoms of what she has gone through in Keystone’s hands.
“Her present heath situation has seriously affected her job appraisal and prospects, given her frequent visits to the hospital,” her lawyer said.
But the bank denied any liability in the loss, and said Ochiedike’s claims are “misconceived, gold digging, frivolous and indeed a ploy to use the judicial process to amass unwholesome benefits.”