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Bank loses customer’s N1.9b to hackers in four months

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Bank. Photo: investopedia

The management of an old generation bank is currently at loggerheads with a businessman, Milton Ogoin Timi, over the loss of N1, 911, 928, 957.18 billion, which it (bank) claimed was fraudulently transferred by hackers from its customers’ account between the months of March and June 2020.

The bank made the revelation in its counter affidavit filed in defence of a fundamental rights enforcement suit against it by Timi, who is currently being detained by the police, at the instance of the bank.  

The bank stated that the hackers fraudulently transferred the said amount from one of its numerous customers’ account to several accounts in other banks. 
   
Timi had in his fundamental rights enforcement suit, told the court that he was arrested since August 5, 2020, at the Ogba, Lagos branch of a commercial bank, where his account is domiciled and where he had gone to lodge a complaint of his inability to access his account.

Timi said upon his arrest, he was later moved to the Ogunnusi Road, Ogba, Lagos branch of the bank, and to some various police formations, which include Area A Command, before finally detained at Ogba Police Division on the order of the bank.

Timi in his suit marked FHC/L/CS/1054/2020, against the bank and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) before a Federal High Court in Lagos, prayed the court to order his immediate and unconditional release from police custody. 

He also demanded the sum of N5 million as damages for his unlawful arrest, detention, harassment, and torture since August 5, 2020. 

He further prayed for an order restraining the bank, its agents, and privies from further harassing, arresting and detaining him and an order restraining the bank and the police from taking any action against him until the determination of his suit.

However, the bank in its counter-affidavit filed and argued by one Muktar Kolawole Sulaiman, said the businessman is not its customer and that it was not responsible for his arrest and detention by the police.

Parts of the deponent’s averments read as follows: “that I know as fact that a huge sum of money to the tune of N1, 911,928,957.18 was fraudulently transferred from the bank customer’s account number 1015872219 to some individuals accounts between March and June 2020.

“That I know as a fact that further investigation by the police revealed that that applicant herein is a beneficiary of the proceeds of the fraudulent transfer to the tune of N5 million. And that the police through the office of the Inspector-General of Police subsequently applied for and obtained a “Bankers Order”, placing restrictions on the identified account including that of the applicant.

“That the police then wrote the affected banks in where the already dissipated monies were discovered, notifying them of the court order, while also asking them for compliance with the contents thereof”.

However, Justice Nicolas Oweibo, after listening to arguments from the counsel to the incarcerated businessman, Onwuka Ogbu, that of the bank, Muktair Sule and Mr. Innocent Anyigor who represented the IGP, ordered immediate and unconditional release of the businessman from police custody.

The order was based on the failure of the police to show course why the businessman was detained in its custody beyond the stipulated time in law.


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