Metro

February 28, 2023

How N1m saved for my burial was stolen, 85-year-old woman laments

Relief for Nigerians as banks dispense, accept old Naira notes

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•l don’t want any burden on my relations

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

An octogenarian, Madam Racheal Fadele, has cried out over the fraudulent withdrawal of N1 million from her account.

Fadele, who spoke with newsmen in Akure, Ondo State, said she saved the money for her burial ceremony since she had no surviving child.

She was accosted at the premises of a Chief Magistrates Court, in Akure, where a man suspected to have stolen the money from her bank account was arraigned by the officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in the state.

Fadele told newsmen that she retired as a civil servant in Oyo State.

According to her: “l worked and retired as a civil servant in Oyo State. I decided to return to Akure, after the death of my only child.

“I was saving the money for my feeding and also for my burial ceremony. I have no child and I do not want any relative to carry the burden of my funeral when I die.

“I am 85 years old and I do not know when I will die.”

Fadele, while explaining how the money was moved from her account said: “In October, 2022, l received a call and the caller claimed to be from the bank.

“The caller asked me some questions as regards my bank account, and after that over N1million was withdrawn from my account without my authorisation.

“After investigation, it was discovered that the money was transferred to an Opay account belonging to one Emmanuel Nwankpa.”

Meanwhile, Nwankpa, has been arrested and arraigned on two count charges of fraudulent stealing but he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The NSCDC officials said that further investigation showed that it was the cell phone of Nwankpa that was used to call Mrs. Fadele.

Nwankpa was arrested after his banking transactions were blocked.

His lawyer, A. Y Aloyu, told the court that his client was ready for an out-of-court settlement.

In his response, the Prosecuting Counsel, David Ebriku, informed the court that the suspect would be prosecuted even if the matter was settled out of court and he paid the money.

Ebriku insisted that it was an offence against the state and promised to call three witnesses to testify in the case.

Trial magistrate, T. Aladejana, thereafter, granted the accused bail to the sum of N1million and two sureties in like sum.

Aladejana, then adjourned the case to March 16, 2023, for hearing