A pastor, who is also a customer with Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Mr. John Ahunu, is at loggerheads with the Chevron branch manager of the bank, Mrs. Florence Nwokocha, and another customer of the bank, Mr. Muhammed Buhari, over a N20m investment.
Ahunu said he was convinced that Nwokocha connived with Buhari to defraud him of the amount.
Buhari, a United Nations Millennium Development Goals ambassador and a member of the MDG Committee, West Africa, was allegedly introduced to Ahunu by Nwokocha in 2012.
A petition by Ahunu’s counsel, Mr. Johnson Anumudu, to the Inspector General of Police, and dated August 1, 2013, alleged that Nwokocha had a personal relationship with Buhari. The petition was received and the case was transferred to the Special Fraud Unit by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja.
Ahunu said, “I got to know Nwokocha after opening a fixed deposit account with the Chevron branch of Ecobank to deposit some money I made from the sale of a house.
“A few days after the proceeds from the sale were paid into my account, Nwokocha invited me to the bank and introduced Buhari to me. She told me that he was a businessman and needed some money to finance oil supplies. She assured me that Buhari was genuine and that I would get an interest of six per cent after two weeks if I loaned him the money.
“Being a branch manager, I didn’t suspect her of anything. I signed the transfer funds that would make her hand the money over to Buhari. But two weeks after, I received neither the capital nor the interest promised. When I tried contacting Buhari, he refused to pick his calls. When I couldn’t get my money back, I contacted a lawyer to petition the police on my behalf.”
It was learnt that following an investigation by the SFU, Buhari was arrested and later released on bail. Although both men were said to have eventually reached an agreement about the payment at the SFU, Ahunu said he had yet to receive anything from Buhari.
However, Buhari’s counsel, who identified himself simply as Mr. Nicholas, denied the fraud allegation and instead described it as a business deal gone bad.
A statement from Ecobank’s Brand and Communication Department denied Nwokocha’s complicity as a branch manager of the bank.
It read, “This is an unfortunate case involving two customers of the Bank in 2012, who appear to have had a private transaction. We sympathise with Ahunu, but unfortunately, we cannot interfere as the transaction was between two parties and the bank was not privy to same.”