“Am I on to Mr. Oluwaseun Akisanmi ….the one that was recently “Stranded in Scotland”” the voice prodded. “Speaking,” I replied. It was 1:39pm on September 15, 2010. The voice on the other end of the
phone was that of one I would call PROFESSOR DEE A. He
was the man Zenith Bank PLC headquarters had
designated the task of handling my Scotland dilemma. The call would
later go on to last for about 19 minutes. “I read your note,” (by “your
note”, he was referring to “THE DAY I WAS STRANDED IN SCOTLAND”)
he continued, “and I’m calling from Zenith bank Headquarters
in an attempt to resolve the matter. First of all, it is important that
you understand that Zenith bank does not condone fraud in any way or
form and has nothing to do with fostering corruption or any form of 419
(i.e. ADVANCE FRAUD for some of my foreign audience that might be
unfamiliar with the code).” He went on to download the details of the
investigation he had just concluded with regard to my case. He told me
how he had contacted all the Zenith Bank branches &
officials that I had approached and gotten their account of what had
ensued. He explained how they are not to be blamed for responding to me
the way they did. According to him, the bank had witnessed some
fraudulent circumstances that were deemed to be similar to the scenario I
came to report. Only that in the other cases, the main culprit was the
person that was reporting the “FRAUD.” So it wasn’t their fault, he
concluded, that they treated me in such a manner….especially since I was
not even an account holder with the bank. As far as they were
concerned, I could be the one cooking up the story since they don’t have
any prior information on me. Besides, the Muhammed Yusuf
in question was a Bureau de Change Mallam that had opened an account
with them since 2006 and they could at least vouch for him to a degree
of 99%. So, according to them, he was a credible man with integrity. I
explained to him the high possibility that Muhammed Yusuf could know the
person that was using his account to perpetuate the fraud. I was
wondering if Muhammed wouldn’t have been arrested if this had happened
to one of the executives of the bank. He proceeded to tell me that he
had called the number that the culprit had provided for payment
confirmation. Apparently, the real owner of the phone “allegedly” had
problems with the phone 3 weeks earlier. He “allegedly” got a text from
the network claiming that he had won a generator set and that he should
send an SMS containing the numeric codes to recharge cards worth
N5000. He had sent N2000 worth of cards before he “sensed” that he was
being defrauded. Since the time he had gotten the text, his cell phone
number (the one the culprit in question gave for us to confirm payment)
had been "hacked" into. IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?. Whenever his number
was called, someone else would answer it while the original phone is
still with him. He even called his number and someone else picked the
phone. So apparently, his cell number was being used to perpetuate the
whole scandal without his knowledge. I’m not sure I believe that
though. Perhaps its true, perhaps it isn’t… I might never know until
the young man is properly interrogated by the proper authority. “What
about the case of my aunty that fell victim to this same scam with your
bank last year?” I asked. He asked me to confirm my aunty’s name. I
did. Mrs. Ogunkoya is her name. He confirmed that and proceeded to tell
me that he was viewing the account on his screen. He said that after
Mrs Ogunkoya had paid the N280,000 into the culprit’s Zenith Bank
account in Osun State, the money was withdrawn from the bank’s branch
in Ibadan, Oyo State 5 minutes later. I asked what they did to try to
recover the money. He replied that they couldn’t do much. “Didn’t you
have the contact details of the account holder?” “Couldn’t Zenith Bank
have gone to his house to arrest the young man?” His response; “You
know we’re more than the police can handle in this country..If we
arrest someone today, they would be bailed the next day…so what’s the
point of arresting them…you know the type of country we’re in”. Once
again, I was shocked. What if it had happened to Professor Dee A
himself? Would he have let it go just like that without having the
person arrested? I know I wouldn’t have, especially if I have the means
to.

“So what is the way forward?” I asked. His response: “The way forward is for you to contact all your friends on your network and tell them EVERYTHING IS OKAY NOW.” I was shocked.
Did he just say what I think he said? OK, Zenith Bank, here I go; EVERYBODY
ON MY NETWORK, EVERYTHING IS OKAY NOW
. Yeah right, and I am
Barack Obama’s senior brother. For any Zenith bank executive reading
this, everything will not be fine until the culprit is brought to
justice. Everything will not be fine until it happens to one of the top
executives of the Bank; everything will not be fine until Nigeria is
known to be a country filled with citizens with integrity; everything
will not be fine until the name “Nigeria” is no longer synonymous with
the numeric code “419”; everything will not be fine
until Nigeria truly becomes a “great nation” filled with “good people”;
everything will not be fine until nobody ever gets “Stranded in
Scotland”; everything will not be fine until Muhammed Yusuf
is arrested and interrogated… so don’t you dare tell me EVERYTHING IS
OKAY NOW. I write this to officially inform Zenith Bank Plc that I'm
willing to take this to as far as I can until the issue is resolved to
my satisfaction. I would appreciate if anyone has the contact details of
the M.D. of Zenith Bank so I could get in touch with
him directly. My direct email is seunakisanmi@elophotos.com

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