A Nigerian man identified as Mr. Chiuba Obinani may have the time to narrate his story, but he is definitely not going to be in his best composure, as he narrates how he lost N1.5million to thieves through his son at a particular Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) gallery point at the Ejigbo area of Lagos State.
On April 11, when a stranger attempted to collect an ATM card from a 13-year-old boy called Peter, the boy raised the alarm. The stranger was caught and almost lynched.
The stranger, who introduced himself as Mr Echefu Aku, 28, a journalist, formerly working with Silverbird Television, denied being a thief.
Sadly, Aku’s situation worsens after an 11-year-old boy, who had earlier lost his father’s ATM card through similar drama, identified him.
Obinani told our correspondent that he lost a whooping sum of N1.5 million in March through thieves like Aku, who hangs around ATM gallery points, looking for young kids to prey on.
“I’m still in shock over what happened to me last month. I sent my 11-year-old son to withdraw money for me from the ATM.
That wouldn’t be the first time. But last month, someone collected my ATM card from him. The person also collected the N10,000 he had already withdrawn.
My son also disclosed my Personal Identification Number (PIN) to the thief. I’m sure my son was hypnotised. He’s a brilliant boy.”
Obinani said that he was still waiting for his son to return with the N10, 000 when he started receiving several withdrawal alerts. He quickly made a beeline for his bank.
“Before I was through with my complaint at the bank, N1.5 million had left my account.
The bankers blamed me for giving my son the ATM card. They said that several people had been coming to complain that someone collected ATM cards from their children and used it to empty their accounts.”
He said that on that fateful day that Aku was caught, he was preparing to leave for his office, when he heard that the man, who specialised in stealing cards from children at ATM points, had been caught.
“I immediately went there with my son; he identified Aku as the person that collected my ATM card from him in March.”
Aku was alleged to have been caught red-handed, attempting to steal an ATM card from Peter.
The incident occurred at the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), by Forte Oil Filling Station, Egbe-Ikotun road, Iyana Ejigbo, Lagos State. Aku was alleged to have tried to convince Peter to allow him to change his ATM card with an old one.
When Aku was searched, four ATM cards were found in his pocket. He couldn’t give account on how he got the cards. An angry mob pounced, beating him black and blue. If not for the intervention of GTB security guards, Aku would have been lynched.