How Union Bank Allegedly Helped A Wonder Bank In Jos To Laundered N1.6 Billion Belonging To 6183 Investors

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Yakubu Busari

About 6183 bank customers has accused Union Bank of Nigeria of conniving with wonder Bank in Jos, called Access Investment and Allied Bank, of over N1.6 billion they saved in the wonder bank.

The aggrieved and duped bank customers it was gathered approached a Jos High Court in 2012 and obtained judgment to be paid all their funds, were disappointed with the way and manner the case have been delayed unnecessarily.

Chief Lamina Adesoji and Michael Anongu leaders of the group disclosed that ,they teamed up to file a suit challenging the management of Union Bank for damages and money laundering, according to them their money was transferred to one of the neighboring state and withdrawn instantly without the appropriate authority following law of withdrawal.

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He added that fake wonder Bank syndicate went through the officials of Union Bank to commit all the frauds after 4 to 5 months of successful operation and billions were kept into the Access investment account it disappeared completely including those agents were saddled with the responsibility of funds collection.

Adesoji explained further that this predicament has forced many of their members into mental disorders and some are dead when they discovered that their money was trapped by unknown and faceless persons popularly called money swindlers.

According to them, the case which commenced in 2012 and now they are now in middle of 2017 alleged fears that counsel to the accused persons; Solomon Umoh has been employing tricks of using unnecessary motions upon motions of constant filing to frustrate them.

Adesoji added that since when the State High Court entered her judgment in their favour in 2013 the case have been under delays and confusion on the side of investors who complained paying of N45,000 per every sitting to their client for appearance.

However, the Appeal Court sitting in Plateau state has adjourned the suit to 26th September, 2017 for continuation of hearing into the matter.

The frustrated investors who were all in court to witness the case said they were highly disappointed with the long delay, so they said they are begging the federal government to come their rescue so that the money will be release to them. According to the statement some of them are suffering while some have been displaced and can’t afford to settle their bills owing to the current challenges.

At the resumed hearing, Bar. Charles Obishai (SAN) who is standing in for the plaintiffs while Bar.     Solomon Umoh (SAN) standing in for the Union Bank appeared, but Access Investment and Allied Bank were yet to file in appearances.

The group who said that the case which has been on for a long time now starting from the lower court to the apex court and then to a task Panel set up by the President of the Court of Appeal, saw its Preliminary hearing held on the 24th day of May 2017 that the Access Investment and Allied Bank were absent in the court which also brought set back to the proceedings.

During the court sitting Bar. Charles Obishai (SAN), counsel to the plaintiffs, told their Lordships that the matter was fixed for hearing and they were ready to proceed, even as he lamented the difficulties he incurred in trying to serve notices of summons on the Access Investment and Allied Banks.

He described the wonder bank as faceless and dubious persons who conspired, duped their clients with well over N1.5bn and disappeared into the air.

According to him, he tried to reach them through substitution services of newspaper publication which cost him over N600, 000, yet their whereabouts are still very sketchy, and sought for a common ground to use text messages or other means that could be cost less, but was asked to do the needy.

His Lordships insisted that the purpose of the services to be published in the National Daily will give them jurisdiction, if the persons involved fails to appear.

Earlier, the counsel to the Union Bank, Bar. Solomon Umoh, sought to apply for matter to be stood down, on the ground that court cannot have two appeals going on simultaneously from one judgment.

According to him, he has already filed an appeal to the Supreme Court   against the judgement passed at the lower court in favour of the complainant, suggesting the need for a cross appeal.

Responding further, Bar. Umoh up rightly opposed the claims made by the plaintiffs’ counsel, that the sum of amount in question was up to the tune of N1.5bn, saying after the complainants obtained judgement at the lower court, they came back and removed part of the money to go and stop the proceedings at the supreme court.

It would recall, over six thousand one hundred and Eighty three (6,183) persons had invested with the access investment and allied bank and the money were transferred to union banks for self-keeping with a view to getting 20 per cent interest every week.

It was gathered that shortly after they opened the accounts the operators of the said bank disappeared in the air leaving union bank, a situation that compelled the customers to approach the court of law in 2012 to seek ways of recovering their money.

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