How Sterling Bank fraudulently opened unauthorised accounts for loans

Staff of Sterling bank in Bauchi state reportedly opens unauthorised accounts using customers' names linked with BVN for loan applications
Emeh Joy

Two farmers identified as Muhammad Sani-Abdul and Umar Abubakar have revealed how staff of Sterling Bank in Bauchi State fraudulently opened unauthorised accounts with their names and Bank Verification Numbers for loan applications, Sahara Reporters said.

The farmers reportedly filed a petition telling the Consumer Protection Council that they started receiving messages in December 2017 suggesting that they open accounts with the bank even though they never took such step.

They further revealed that they were surprised to find out that the accounts which were opened on their behalf owed the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, N1,291,888.00 per individual.

The petition, as reported by Sahara Reporters said:

"That we opened accounts with Stanbic IBTC Bank as part of a plan to engage in wheat farming. We are pleased to attach our Bank Verification Number.

"That doing so was an attempt to partially meet the conditions for getting access to loan facility to achieve the said goal under the platform of Evergreen Cooperative Society, which was said to have partnered with a certain Madaki Agro Firm.

"That contrary to (a) above, we started receiving alarms in December 2017, suggesting opening account with Sterling Bank, a deal we were unaware of.

"That going by frequent cyber shady deal, we dismissed the matter (stated C above) as trivial. Because, to the best of our knowledge and belief, we neither opened account, nor did we authorise anybody or any organisation to do so on our behalf.

"That in the preceding months, there were transactions in the said accounts amounting to millions of naira concerning loan facility we did not apply for. Moreover, the account was said to have been controlled by a third party we neither know nor delegated to do so on our behalf.

"That we were extremely shocked to learn that the accounts were purported to have been opened for us owed NIRSAL worth N1,291,888.00 per person.

"We have thus been exposed to danger; we strongly suspect a shady deal between the two banks and possibly other parties.

"We understand this is a gross violation of our fundamental and inalienable rights as provided in 1948 universal declaration of human rights, International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Nigerian constitution (1999), Bank and other Institution Act (BOFIA), Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, Human and People's Right and other enabling laws".

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