Ecobank customer laments as N3.7m vanishes from account

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A startling revelation has emerged as an Ecobank customer, Peter Ezeike accused the bank of orchestrating the disappearance of N3,755,000 from his savings account between 2018 and 2019.

Having been a resident of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2017, Ezeike returned to Nigeria in 2021 only to discover a significant financial loss in his account.

He recounted how unauthorised transactions, including deposits, cash withdrawals, and a suspicious payment of N100,000 to an unfamiliar name (Aderinoye A. Quazeem) occurred during his stay in the UAE.

Ezeike said that despite being the sole operator of the savings account, he found these activities transpiring without his knowledge.

Expressing suspicion of insider involvement, Ezeike pointed to his prior relationship with Ibrahim Akeyan, a former Ecobank staff at the Sango Ota branch in Ogun State.

He alleged that he frequently left money with Akeyan before relocating to Dubai when unable to join a queue for deposits.

In an interview with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Ezeike stated, “Mr. Ibrahim Akeyan was an employee of Ecobank at its Sango Ota branch in Ogun State. We related freely, and he knew my account details. There was never a problem then.”

Ezeike said he suspected that Akeyan tampered with his account due to their past relationship.

According to him, some events that played out after he reported the missing funds to the bank further reinforced his suspicion against Akeyan and even the bank itself.

When contacted, Akeyan denied knowing Ezeike, stating, “I don’t know the person. I dealt with many customers, and I cannot remember the name you are mentioning.”

He advised Ezeike to approach the bank for resolution, saying he properly handed over before exiting the bank and he would only respond to an invitation to answer questions regarding his work with the bank if summoned by the financial institution itself.

Ezeike said that upon return to Nigeria in 2021, he discovered an insufficient balance in his account.

He explained that a detailed examination of his statement of account revealed unauthorized transactions at the Idi-Iroko branch between November 1, 2018, and March 30, 2021.

Attempts to clarify the situation were met with complications, with Ezeike’s account being reported as blocked when he sought another statement of account at the Redemption Camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on November 22.

The accused branch initiated an investigation but has yet to provide resolution or restitution to Ezeike.

The aggrieved customer reported the suspicious transactions to Aderemi Adeleke, the branch’s customer service manager, and Olajide Folake, the branch manager, but was disheartened when Ibrahim Akeyan contacted him on his newly acquired Nigerian phone number.

The bank had released Ezeike’s contact information to Akeyan to inform him of the investigation without seeking the customer’s consent.

Although the branch officials had justified their action by stating that it was to inform Ibrahim of the investigation before potential arrest, a revelation which further fueled Ezeike’s mistrust in the bank’s handling of the matter.

Despite four scheduled meetings, Akeyan failed to attend, raising questions about the bank’s commitment. The case has reached the attention of the head office which scheduled a virtual meeting, but Akeyan’s non-compliance hinders progress, leaving Ezeike in the dark regarding the investigation and recovery of his funds.

This incident underscores the need for a comprehensive investigation into alleged misconduct, with Ecobank facing scrutiny for potential internal lapses. As the investigation unfolds, the bank faces growing pressure to address these serious allegations and provide a transparent account of the events surrounding the disappearance of Ezeike’s funds.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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