Law firm petitions CBN over alleged fraud by defunct Diamond Bank

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Access Bank Plc

Eyo, Henry and Co, Legal Practitioner and Consultant Firm, on Tuesday petitioned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele over alleged fraud committed by the defunct Diamond Bank Plc.

The petition, which was copied to the Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and Chairman, Bankers Committee, was signed by Ubuo Eyo, a Principal Counsel and Leo Ekpenyong, an Associate Counsel in the firm.

The petition made available to our reporter in Abuja, alleged that their client, Mr Henry Udontre, went to his bank ‘Sterling Bank Plc’ Garki, Abuja branch to withdraw money and discovered that “a post no debit” instruction had been placed on his account.

“Curiously, however, the bank informed our client that “a post no debit’’ instruction had been made in respect of the said account without any reason adduced by the bank.

“Upon inquiries, our client was told to report to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) team number seven for investigative activities.

“At the EFCC office Abuja, our client was subjected to excruciating interrogations regarding ownership of a purported company known as SANT AFE Engineering and Construction Ltd.

“In furtherance of our client desire to unravel the circumstances surrounding a post no debit order being placed on his account, our client discovered the following in dismay.

“That one Mr Imo Ekpo, a staff of Diamond Bank now Access Bank Plc in Abak Road branch, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, had sometime in 2008 fraudulently requested for the use of our client particulars.

“Our client particulars were requested under the guise of assisting our client to secure a job.

“The said Ekpo fraudulently utilised our client’s particulars for purposes of opening a corporate account mandate in the name of SANT AFE Engineering and Construction Ltd without our client knowledge.

“Our client is neither a director nor a subscriber to the company,’’ the petitioners said.

According to the petitioners “Our client name was fraudulently used severally for payment by House Cheques of over N200 million without his consent.

“The said payment is evident from the statements of account obtained from the defunct Diamond Bank Plc, now Access Bank,’’ the petitioner said.

The petitioner also alleged that their client had neither received any alert nor withdrawn any money from the account of SANT AFE Construction and Engineering Ltd.

“Suffice to say here that, all these fraudulent activities were perpetrated by Ekpo and another former Diamond Bank staff only known as Abakasanga who now works and lives in Canada and America.

“Upon being confronted by our client, regarding these fraudulent activities, Ekpo admitted on recorded conversation to our client, that he was acting or fronting on behalf of Senator Bassey Albert, a former Akwa Ibom State commissioner of Finance.

“Senator Albert was said to be the chairman of the state inter-ministerial Direct Labour Committee between 2007 and 2014.

The petitioners are however calling on the CBN governor to activate the instrument of his office for a thorough investigation into the matter with a view to ensuring that Diamond Bank was sanctioned accordingly.

They said that a timely response from the CBN governor would not only help to remedy the alleged wrong done to their client, but would also serve as deterrent to other banks.

They also called on the EFCC to hasten investigation into the matter, having been alerted since October 2018.