If you think the last has been heard on the numerous fraud cases involving staff and management of the Otunba Subomi Balogun-led First City Monument Bank (FCMB), then you’re wrong, as the can of worms yet to be opened on the fraudulent activities of the bank can easily be compared to the sands of seashore. As the name of the bank implies, it can simply be described as the first in monumental fraud.
Some years ago, FCMB’s Head Teller, Allen Branch, Ikeja, Mr Soji, popularly known as SOJ, absconded with foreign currencies equivalent to N14million from the bank. It was CCTV footage that revealed how he stole the money from the bank’s iron box. Till date, FCMB has no idea of his whereabouts.
As Head Teller, Mr Soji’s duty was to authorize transactions that are beyond teller limit, and sometimes, he loads cash in Automated Teller Machines (ATM) as a custodian.
The Allen Branch Customer Service Manager (CSM), Mrs Tolulope Ojudun, had embarked on her annual leave. In that case, the right thing was for the bank to bring in another CSM to relieve her, but the management failed to do so, making it inevitable for the then Cash Officer (CO) to relieve her.
Meanwhile, the CO was just posted to the branch as at the time, and in all fairness, combining his original task with that of the CSM was definitely not going to be easy, partly because there is no proximity between both tables.
As a result, it was the Head Teller that can easily fill the gap. So, the CO gave the system password to Mr Soji, based on trust. Besides, they were both employed from FinBank when FCMB acquired the distressed financial institution. At least, SOJ is a ‘devil’ he has known.
Things have relatively been going fine until one morning when the iron box containing local and foreign currencies entrusted to Mr Soji by the Cash Officer was tampered with. The latter wasted no time in stealing foreign currencies equivalent to N14million and disappeared into thin air.
Till date, Mr Soji and the missing millions cannot be traced. It was the bank’s CCTV camera footage that revealed how he bolted through an exit door of the bank meant for staff.
Meanwhile, the thieving Mr Soji was an Executive Trainee (ET) at FinBank before he joined FCMB, but was not well treated by his new employers.
FinBank staff who were recruited to FCMB after the acquisition usually complain of being marginalized in the latter’s promotion scheme.
Mr Soji, like many of his colleagues from FinBank, had not been promoted in many years. Despite the fact that he is authorizing transactions worth several millions everyday at FCMB, his salary as at the time he stole the bank’s money was a meager N80,000.
When the management of FCMB could not find Mr Soji, they attempted to arrest his wife, who was working at Stanbic IBTC Bank, but she claimed ignorant of her husband’s act, and the bank was prevented from arresting her.