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Unethical Banking Practice: Wema Bank Swims In Customer Data Abuse Scandal With “ALAT By Wema”

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Some customers of Wema Bank Plc (ALAT By Wema) have accused the deposit money bank of abuse of customers’ data and unethical banking practices in the country by using their data to open illegal ALAT by Wema accounts without their authorization or permission. We understands that Wema bank has been opening multiple accounts for some Nigerians on its much-hyped digital banking platform, ALAT by Wema, without their knowledge or permission in a bid to celebrate the platform’s 5th anniversary.

Wema Bank Reportedly Aiming ‘A Million Account In One Day’ – Thereby Using Customers’ Data To Illegally Populate ALAT By Wema Digital Platform

According to information reaching Society Reporters, while the actual number of such unauthorized bank accounts opened on behalf of unsuspecting or undiscerning Nigerians are unknown, Wema Bank was alleged to be aiming to achieve “a million accounts in one day”, thereby using Nigerian customers’ data to populate the digital platform.

They said they discovered that the bank and its agents had allegedly been opening unauthorized accounts for customers with information or data in the bank’s possession.
The financial institution, led by Ademola Adebise, is accused of allegedly opening accounts for some Nigerians on its digital banking platform, ALAT, without their knowledge or consent in a bid to celebrate its 5th anniversary.

Customers Accuse Wema Bank Of Illegally Using Their Data To Open ALAT By Wema Accounts

Adebayo Tayo, a mental health advocate, took to his Twitter account to publicly accuse Wema Bank of opening an account in his name without authorization from him.

Tayo lamented that he never knew he had a new Wema Bank account until his mother contacted him, because she received an alert that was intended for him – shocking, how come he owns an account he’s unaware of, and his mom receives the alert.

“I am concerned about how my info has been used by Wema Bank and I need detailed explanations about the account including every transaction it has performed before someone uses my details for an account to launder money or collect ransome, ” he stated.

Wema Bank, in response to the report, claimed the unauthorised accounts were opened for certain persons “to celebrate with us” despite not informing them ahead or receiving approval to create the accounts.

Wema Bank Illegal Banking Practice Similar To Wells Fargo Accused Of Opening 1.5m Accounts Ilegally

This illegal banking practice is similar to that of Wells Fargo, a United State bank, which was accused of opening 1.5 million accounts without authorisation, with over 565,000 credit cards applied for, allegedly without customers consent.

About 5,300 employees at Wells Fargo were sacked for opening the illegal accounts, and the company was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the United States.

The unauthorised Wells Fargo accounts were only uncovered by the affected persons when the accounts started accumulating debt from bank charges on the unsuspecting individuals.

Just as the sacked Wells Fargo employees were said to have indulged in fraudulently opening sham accounts to beat target, Wema Bank vendors and marketers may have used the same strategy to achieve the lender’s anniversary target.

That of Wema Bank is expected to also place a financial burden on the unsuspecting persons through account maintenance cost, from which the lender generated about N2.10 million last year, surpassing N1.24 million of 2020.

Affected Nigerians smell insider abuse

Recently, Mental Health Advocate, Adebayo Tayo, took to his Twitter account to publicly accuse Wema Bank of opening an account in his name without authorisation from him.

Tayo lamented that he never knew he had a new Wema Bank account until his mother contacted him, because she received an alert that was intended for him – shocking, how come he owns an account he’s unaware of, and his mom receives the alert.

“I am concerned about how my info had been used by Wema Bank and I need detailed explanations about the account including every transactions it has performed before someone uses my details for an account to launder money or collect ransome, he stated.

Following a probe into Tayo’s claim, an online publication, Ripples Nigeria discovered he was not the only one whose identity was used by the financial institution, to open accounts on its digital banking platform, ALAT by Wema, without the knowledge or consent of the individuals.

Another affected Nigerian is Oyenike Ojo, whose name was used to open an ALAT by Wema account. However, when money was sent to the account, the alert details showed another name, Oluseyi Bamgboyi as account owner – which means two different names seem to have been used to open one account.

Ojo’s husband was quoted as saying that something was shady about the account, “What I said is, the current name on the account number in my screenshots is not my wife’s name. If you look at that screenshot, the account was opened with my wife’s name and a new account number.

“She also got a credit alert notification via sms with the new account number. This shows that her details were used to open that account. However I tried to do a transfer to that account this morning when I read the news only to see that the account name is Oluseyi Bamgboye and not Oyenike Ojo (which is my wife’s name). Something is definitely fishy”, he explained to Ripples Nigeria.

Ojo said his wife has an account with Wema Bank which she hasn’t used for about seven years, and the new account created in her name doesn’t seem to carry the same number with her old account.

He stressed that the unauthorised accounts opened is “definitely an inside job.”, stating , “Customer’s details are compromised and they are being used to open new accounts. Whether by marketers so as to meet targets of number of accounts opened, or for money laundering, I can’t tell.”

Ojo asked for an investigation into the illegal accounts opened by Wema Bank, saying the situation is questionable, “How Oyenike Ojo’s savings account opened without her permission has now become Oluseyi Bamgboye’s account is definitely questionable.” Ojo said, expressing his worry.

Another name used to open unauthorised account, Abimbola Fakoyejo, disclosed that he was still wondering about his unused account on ALAT by Wema, when he saw a message notifying him that an account has been opened in his name.

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PDP NWC Rejects Wike’s Demands, reiterates confidence in Ayu – Official

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee has rejected the demand 

by Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers State for the removal of Senator Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman. 

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, made this known on Thursday at the party’s headquarters in Wadata Plaza, Abuja.

The leadership of the chairman was ratified in a vote of confidence despite disputations from some sections of the party and yearnings for him to step aside as the national chairman.

Wike met with some PDP serving, former governors, and other party stakeholders on Sunday.

The Rivers governor has been in disagreement with the party’s flag-bearer, Atiku Abubakar, in the fallout of the party’s special convention last May and the subsequent nomination of the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the party’s vice-presidential running mate.

The development didn’t go well with the Rivers State governor and his camp, prompting calls for the chairman of the party to step aside, including the reorganisation of the executive arm of the party.

However, barely 24 hours after setting up a committee by the party’s Board of Trustees to wade into the disagreement between Atiku and Wike, the duo reportedly met at the residence of Jerry Gana, a pundit of the party.

According to the outcome of the meeting, Debo stated that the PDP has resolved to “restate confidence in the National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, and the National Working Committee NWC in running the affairs of the Party.

The party also “restates confidence in the capacity, experience, and competence of H.E Atiku Abubakar to rescue, redirect and rebuild this country to earn the respect of the international community.”

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EFCC To Quiz Jaiz Bank CEO, Hassan Usman, Others, Over AGF’S Alleged N109bn Fraud

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EFCC will question Hassan Usman, CEO of Jaiz Bank, and others for suspected N109 billion theft by AGF.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, may soon summon Hassan Usman, the managing director of Jaiz Bank Plc, and other senior members of the Islamic bank for questioning regarding their alleged roles in the N109 billion thatAhmed Idris, the disgraced former Accountant General of the Federation, is accused of stealing, according to sources in the commission.

 

Idris, who is currently facing charges from the EFCC along with two other conspirators, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele and Mohammed Kudu, allegedly stole the enormous sums of money by hacking into the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), and smuggled away billions of naira that belonged to the government.

 

The group was last week charged before Justice A. O. Adeyemi Ajayi of the Maitama, Abuja-based Federal Capital Territory High Court.

Investigative work by the EFCC revealed that the former Accountant General had opened bank accounts with an Islamic bank and utilized those accounts to refine his money-laundering techniques.

 

Investigations indicated that the bank was used to launder a sizable amount of money to high government officials at the federal and state levels, while the magazine is unable to determine the extent of some bank employees’ involvement in the crime.

 

According to information obtained by The Source Magazine, the commission is currently working to uncover any shady dealings the former AGoF may have had with some Islamic bank executives, which may have “enabled him to use the bank to launder public monies.” The bank must respond to important queries, according to an EFCC source.

The Accountant General and his accomplices must have chosen Jaiz bank, in order not to draw any suspicion from the public and banking regulators. But it’s now obvious that there’s no hidden place for the bank and greedy government officials who committed the fraud. The EFCC will get to the bottom of the fraud and expose those involved” another EFCC top official said on Tuesday.

“There is a need to question more top officials of the bank apart from the chief executive who must be privy to how and when huge sums of money were moved without deeming it fit to alert constituted authority in the country and EFCC. There’s no way huge sums will be moved without the MD’s knowledge, and we are quite sure these officials are not unaware of the money laundering law,” the official said.

The EFCC claimed that Idris utilized a substantial portion of the stolen money to launch businesses and buy real estate in Kano, where he is from, as well as Abuja and other places.

These properties include, among others, the Kano City Mall, the Gezawa Exchange Limited, and the Gezawa Integrated Farms.

 

A portion of the earnings from the theft were also utilized by the disgraced former accountant general to bribe important members of the state and federal governments, including former governor Abdul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara state, who was at the time the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

 

During the trial last week, an EFCC prosecution witness Hayatu Ahmed, said Idris has accounts with Jaiz Bank which he used to make payments to individuals and companies, including a N280 million he paid into “Gezawa Commodity Market with Jaiz Bank.”

 

Additionally, it was discovered from EFCC sources that the bank was used in a large number of transactions that the disgraced Idris conducted with bureau de change. Several bureau de change in Kano and Abuja were paid via the bank, according to credible proof. The source stated that the dollar equivalent was then collected in cash and afterwards paid directly to people who had benefited from the crime.

 

Giving an overview of the fraud last week, the EFCC witness claimed that three groups shared the stolen money, including members of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), including one of its commissioners, Peace Akomas, a former deputy governor of the Abia State who is accused of collecting N18.8 billion.

The second group is the AGF group, and it got a total sum of N18.01 billion.

 

“The third group, the Commissioners of Finance in the nine oil producing states, received N21.4 billion. The money was withdrawn by Akindele, converted to US dollars, and handed over to Akomas on behalf of the group.

 

“The fourth group is called the Yari group. This group received N17.15 billion. The entirety of the sum was transferred to the account of Fimex Professional Services on the instruction of the representative of this group – Abdul’Aziz Yari, former Zamfara state governor.

 

“The remaining N8.9 billion was retained by the second defendant. Furthermore, N4.29 billion was converted to US dollars by Akindele as appreciation for the consultancy contract, and the balance of N4.6 billion was given to Akindele,” the EFCC witness said in court.

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LIRS Set To Launch Whistle-Blower Initiative August 5

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The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) is set to launch its Whistle-Blower initiative, a state-wide project, introduced to provide a platform for employees, stakeholders and the general public to report any observed violation, misconduct, or unethical behaviour across the state on Friday, August 5, 2022.

 

In a public notice signed by the LIRS Executive Chairman, Ayodele Subair, the Whistle-Blower initiative is a public policy of the State Government to encourage reporting of illegal actions or financial crimes, through the appropriate channel, with a view to correcting the violations or non-compliance.

 

According to the LIRS boss, “In line with the LIRS core values of integrity and accountability and our commitment to uphold the highest standards of openness, probity and accountability in our dealings with stakeholders, the platform is anonymous and confidential and it is independently managed by Deloitte, a globally accredited company.”

 

“The objective of the Whistle-Blower initiative is to guarantee transparency, accountability, and confidentiality to all taxpayers and stakeholders in general.

 

“The policy is designed to protect whistle-blowers from victimization and to encourage them to freely report without fear,” Subair submitted.

 

The launch of the Whistle-Blower initiative is scheduled to take place at the Protea Select Hotel, Assibifi Road, Alausa-Ikeja, Lagos.

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