By Ifeanyi Okolie
GUARDS at Guarantee Trust Bank,Ogba branch, were not taken by surprise as Dare Oladujoye anticipated when he stormed the bank’s Automated Teller Machine, ATM, with an alleged intention of siphoning money from some innocent account holders of the bank. The guards who were conducting regular patrols around the bank premises didn’t find it difficult detecting that Oladujoye, a driver with one of the new generation banks, had a criminal intention.
Crime Alert gathered that the guards confronted him, searched and found 19 ATM cards belonging to several customers of their bank and the sum of N652, 000 which he had successfully withdrawn from the ATM inside his pocket. They quickly contacted the police through their control room and detectives from Area G, Ogba, raced to the scene and arrested the suspect.
Sources told Crime Alert that Oladujoye couldn’t establish during interrogation how he came up with 19 ATM cards which were not his. A source who craved anonymity said that when taken into police custody, the suspect presented an unbelievable story as he had no proof to back them at all.
He said: “You can imagine the young man told us that he got the ATM cards from the owners and they were some of his debtors. We asked him to contact them to come claim the cards from us but till now, we are yet to see any of them. So far, we are trying to establish how he got those cards.
“The bank has provided us with the names and numbers of owners of those bank accounts and they are also assisting in establishing how he got the cards. We, however, noted two factors: if he claims the cards belongs to his customers, why were they all of the same bank; why not other banks and also why did he decide to withdraw the money at that hour of the night when he knew that most bank staff and customers had closed for the day.”
The suspect, however, told Crime Alert that the ATM cards were not obtained fraudulently but that they were given to him by their owners. He said: “I am a money lender and I have lots of customers. But they usually hand over their ATM cards and pin numbers to me whenever I loan money to them. That practice was because I wanted to know whenever they got money.”
When asked how he obtained enough resources to become a money lender, Oladujoye said: “I started working for my bank two years ago as a driver and I was very diligent. I saved my money and bought a tricycle and gave it out for hire. After some months, I bought two more tricycles and they were turning over about N120,000 for me every month. Then I ventured into money lending.
My customers are numerous and we have an agreement that they will surrender their cards to me when I give them money and on weekly basis, I will withdraw any money they have paid into their account. On the day I was arrested, I went to withdraw money with some of the cards when a security guard raised alarm. I did not steal those cards. I know the owners and I have their numbers on my phone.”
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umaru Manko, while confirming the report said the arrest was made at about 8.30pm last Thursday, following an alarm raised at the Ogba branch of GTB, by one of the guards. Manko said: “On July 26, 2012, around 8:30pm, there was a distress call that there was commotion at GTB, Ogba branch. On getting there, the suspect, Dare Oladujoye, was seen with 19 ATM cards.
He was arrested and at the time of his arrest, he had cashed N652,000. The matter is under investigation.” The Police, however, said part of investigation included effort to contact owners of the accounts to ascertain his claim.