The members of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria in Ogun State on Monday stormed Unity Bank in Abeokuta over an alleged diversion of the association’s investment fund to the tune of N134 million.
The civil servants were armed with placards bearing different inscriptions such as; “Ole Ni Unity Bank,” “Funds Not Safe In Unity Bank,” “Unity Bank Stole Our Money”, “No Refund, No Retreat, No Surrender,” others.
Trouble started when the association decided to move its investment fund from the bank to another commercial bank where they got a “better deal.”
The civil servants marched to the Ita-eko branch of the bank in Abeokuta, singing solidarity songs.
Speaking for the protesters, the state chairman of the Association, Olude Isa-Owolabi, said the association had instructed the bank to transfer its fund into another bank account “but they refused to send the entire fund thereby creating a significant shortage of amount from their accounts”.
“Sometime last year, we heard from emergency call that Unity Bank, Abeokuta branch, is defrauding customers and because we are a union that is proactive since we have professionals in our midst, we rose to the occasion and instructed Unity Bank to transfer some amount of money from our Investment account to another account.
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“Unfortunately, Unity Bank transferred lesser the amount we are expecting and we have a shortage of significant amount from our account.
“We have interacted with them many times, we have contacted them, we have written several letters, not less than six or seven, and Unity Bank did not respond.
Mr Isa-Owolabi said their problem with the bank started in February when the instruction was raised.
“We cannot continue to wait for Unity Bank to be free, they have admitted that they have defrauded us, records are there to show that in our office, they admitted that the money is there and they will transfer as soon as possible, since then we have not heard anything from Unity Bank.”
Mr Isa-Owolabi said the total investment fund at the bank was N134 million, while a total amount of N80 million has so far been transferred to the association, leaving a balance of about N54 million.
“We ask Unity Bank to transfer the whole amount to another account for investment because investment depends on your negotiations with the bank or whoever you are investing with because you could have better bargaining elsewhere so we ask them to transfer to another bank account for better dealings.”
A copy of an agreement, dated August 13 and jointly signed by the Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servant of Nigeria (ASCSN), Savings Scheme, Makinde Bamidele, the Treasurer, Suliaman Ayodele Jamiu, the South-west Regional Manager of Unity Bank, Olanrewaju Olusegun, and Abeokuta branch Manager of the bank, Saka Adeleke, on the loss of fund belonging to the Association was obtained by our correspondent.
Phone calls to the given bank’s spokesperson’s line did not go through.
But an official, who preferred not to be named because he was not authorised to speak for the bank, said the Central Bank of Nigeria has waded into the matter.
He added that until the conclusion of the investigation on the matter by the CBN, the bank cannot make any further transfer as requested by the association.
The bank staffer, however, declined to state the nature of the investigation being undertaken by the apex bank.