Reports shows that Ecobank Nigeria have connived with a fraudster named Joel, to use the BVN of Mr Anino Jonah Ghereje, who is not a customer of the bank to open an account in their bank in his name.
According to reports from a twitter user the bank later used the said account to obtain loans.
Mr Anino Jonah Ghereje who is based in Edo state, is into small scale livestock farming.
Due to the nature of his business, he takes this annual loan facility from his bank Sterling Bank Plc and he has maintained a good credit rating with them for years.
On the 13th of February 2021, Mr Jonah took his usual annual loan, from his bank, with maturity for January 2022, so he could commence his farming season for the year. But due to some projects he had planned for 2022 farming season, he paid up his loan in Nov even before maturity
So he was expecting a mail from his bank, of non-indebtedness, which they normally send, whenever he finish paying back his loan. After which, he can apply for a new loan. But he waited without getting any mail. So he tried to apply for a loan. And he got a shocker.
They sent him a mail on the 7th of December 2021, like he is a fraudster, that he is having an uncleared balance with Ecobank
. He was shocked, because he has never had anything to do with Ecobank through out his life, talk more of borrowing money from them.
He forwarded that mail from his bank Sterling Bank Plc
, to Ecobank
to demand for some sort of explanation. But he waited, without any feedback. So he went personally to an Ecobank branch along sapele Road, Benin city, Edo state.
He went there to complain, but they gave him no answer. Out of the confusion, he mailed his bank again, for more clarification. Because as far as he knows, he has had nothing to do with Ecobank, and so can not be indebted to them through an outstanding loan.
And they replied him
This time they informed him that the complaint is from FIRST CENTRAL CREDIT BUREAU. Which means someone reported him, and his BVN has been flagged, and so he can not access any loan facility from any financial institution. And his credit record built over the years is now ruined.
He went back to the same Ecobank
branch, along sapele Road, in Benin. Where he insisted of not leaving the banking hall, until they tell him if he has an account with the bank, and how he got indebted to them. The branch manager had to confess to him.
He quickly contacted a lawyer, who served the Ecobank a demand notice on the 13th of December 2021. With a 14 days ultimatum to furnish sterling bank the true position of things, how Mr Anino Jonah Ghereje, who is not a customer of Ecobank, got an account with them,
and how he was able to access loans, and what loans. Ecobank
replied, on the 20th of December 2021, Just 7 days after receiving the demand of Jonah’s lawyer. That they have commenced an internal investigation into the matter.
And it ended there.
Days later Mr Anino Jonah Ghereje on the 24th of January 2022, got a mail from his bank Sterling
of non-indebtedness, stating clearly that as of November 29th, 2021 he had paid up his loan.
That his credit Bureau records will be updated. The mail was suspicious.
Ecobank didn’t get back to Jonah’s lawyer over, but miraculously the mail for non-indebtedness was sent.
That means someone paid back the loan, that got his BVN flagged. That same bad loan that tarnished his hard earned credit ratings. He insisted on getting to the root of it.
He contacted another lawyer, who is an expert in Banking litigation. after six months, when Ecobank refused to reply his previous lawyer with their findings.
His new lawyer informed him that Ecobank refusal to reply is intentional. Because they are waiting for him to file a civil
Lawsuit against them, since they know they are at fault. So once he files a civil lawsuit, the Bank will turn around to file a criminal case of conspiracy against Mr Anino Jonah Ghereje, and chase him away. That he will be the one in the begging side at the end.
That it will be better to establish a criminal case of conspiracy, fraud, identity theft etc, against the bank, before filing any lawsuit. So on his advice, the Assistant Inspector General of Police
(AIG) Zone 5, Adesuwa Road, Benin City Edo state was petitioned.
The police from zone 5 picked up the case, and one DSP ANTHONY IYAHEN of ZIB DEPARTMENT was assigned as IPO of the case.
As Investigation started, Anino Jonah Ghereje was asked to pay money for court order, so they can use it to compel Ecobank
to release the Statement of the account in his name. His loan records with Ecobank, the types of loans, and the number of loans. And also the account opening form, to know whose photograph is there, and signature. The police did all of that, and got all the information they needed.
Ecobank provided all the information, including the person whose photograph was used. One Mr Joel.
It was also discovered that the bank had used Mr Anino Jonah Ghereje information, to Borrow six Federal government loans, from the Anchor Borrowers scheme.
lied that someone who claims to be Mr Anino Jonah Ghereje family member, was the one who asked them to open the account, because he wants to use it for their cooperative society, to access loan. But Mr Jonah has never been a member of any cooperative.
The police got Mr Joel, and asked him his role in the whole fraud issue. He told the police, in front of Ecobank
officials, that he is innocent. That Ecobank used his information without him knowing. That Ecobank committed the fraud alone. He was freed & he left.
Ecobank agreed to wrong doing, and accepted responsibility.
Few days later, nobody knows what transpired in secret, the Police from Zone 5 Benin City, started acting funny. Showing all signs to compromise the case by all means possible. They refused Mr Anino Jonah Ghereje
Or his lawyer Copy of the Ecobank
statement of account. They refused them copy of his loan records. They refused them copy of the account opening form.
They refused the lawyer even access to snap those documents.
They don’t want them to see or hold it.