Two farmers, Umar Abubakar and Muhammad Sani-Abdul, have revealed how staff of Sterling Bank in Bauchi State fraudulently opened unauthorised accounts using their names and Bank Verification Numbers to apply for loans.
The farmers, in a petition seen by SaharaReporters, told the Consumer Protection Council that they started receiving messages in December 2017 suggesting opening of accounts with the bank without taking such step.
They said they were shocked to learn that the accounts opened on their behalf owed the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending N1,291,888.00 per person.
“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 that 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 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,” the petition reads.