First Bank customers lament disappearance of N905,000 from accounts, finger staff

Some First Bank, Lagos branch, customers have lamented disappearance of the sum of N905,000 from their accounts and demanded that the bank should explain how their Automated Teller Machines were recovered and used to withdraw their money.

One of the victims, Joseph Okolo, accused the bank of being complicit in the disappearance of N105,000 from his account.

Another victim, Ayuba Samson said the same incident happened to him and that the sum of N800,000 was withdrawn from a POS machine after his ATM card got trapped in one of the bank’s ATMs in Lagos State.

Okolo, a writer and teacher, told The Point that he visited a branch of First Bank at Keffi Street, Lagos State, to make use of its Automated Teller Machine for transaction.

He said his ATM card got trapped while making use of it at the machine and that fifteen minutes after he made attempts to visit the bank and report, the sum of N105,000 was deducted from his account.

Upon tendering a complaints at the bank, Okolo disclosed that the bank manager claimed the card was ejected and there was nothing the bank could do.

He said his efforts at making the bank return his money had proved abortive since May 27 that the incident happened.

Okolo alleged that some of the bank officials would have been responsible for the disappearance of the money because the ATM trapped the card and was supposed to be at the back end of the machine which could only be accessed by the bank officials.

The customer alleged that some of the bank officials would have used his card to clear his account.

“On May 27, 2023 at about 10:45am, the First Bank ATM at Keffi Street in Lagos swallowed my card and by 11:00 am, my account was cleared with Point of Sales machine. The next day another man experienced the same thing and his N800,000 was cleared.

“Most bank staff run PoS business and they know how they do this thing. Ever since the incident, I have been struggling to cope. I have been borrowing and the bank manager just told me the journal says my card was ejected and that’s all. I don’t believe that, the bank officials might have cleared my account and they must return it,” Okolo narrated.

The victim further explained, “In an attempt to withdraw the sum of N40,000 from First Bank ATM machine at First Bank Keffi branch Lagos, I wanted to withdraw two times. The first N20,000 was withdrawn successfully. Trying to withdraw the second N20,000, my ATM card was trapped by their machine. I pressed exit, cancel burtons but to no avail. The next person slotted his card and made his transaction, it was successful. The attention of the security man was called and he told me to come back on Tuesday since Monday is May 29, a public holiday. After this scenario, I left the venue at about 11:10am and immediately, I got a debit alert of N105,000 that was withdrawn with PoS.

“Lost and confused, I called the customers care and I was told to freeze my account immediately till I visit the branch. I went to the bank on Tuesday, there was renovation ongoing and as such we were told that the branch does not open that day. I asked when did the renovation start, and when will it finish? the security man said since last week and by the next day, I can come.

“I went to the bank the next day and I explained to the customers care. Immediately, the lady I discussed with said, “Again, this is the second person with similar case, something is wrong somewhere.”

She asked me to follow her to the manager’s office. As we stood to go, I noticed a Hausa man sitting hopeless and curious. Suddenly, he followed us to the manager’s office, then I realized he was a victim of same act. Mine happened on Saturday, his own happened on Sunday, same machine, same branch same month.

“All the manager could say after giving different possibilities was “our ATM journal recorded that your card was released after the withdrawal of N20,000.

“Then I asked, does the machine take in two cards at a time? He said no. Can the machine trap a card and after, another card’s transaction, it releases the card? he said no.
At what point then did the machine released my card and it was invisible?

“Why did the machine take in another card if my card was in and was going to come? The manager pretended or looked confused, left me in his office for an hour and when he came back, he made a call to his so called headquarters ITC personnel and he too said the same thing. So I thanked him for his time and informed him I’m not going to be quiet on this case.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the bank manager was not successful.

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