Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
The struggle by an orphan, Miss Joy Enyioke to acquire higher education is now hanging in the balance due to the fraudulent operations of Bank Road Owerri branch staffers of First Bank Nigeria Limited.
Enyioke, a final year undergraduate of English Education, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri had on May 7, 2014 paid N43, 550 as school fees into the First Bank account of the college, but the money was not remitted to the school account.
Enyioke, now craving for assistance to enable her obtain the clearance from her department, told journalists on Monday in Owerri that all efforts to get the attention of the bank was being rebuffed by the manager of First bank main branch Owerri.
“When on May 7, 2014 I paid the school fees at the main branch of First Bank, Owerri, the cashier stamped the teller reflecting N43, 550 I paid and instructed me to register the transaction in the bank’s register.
“I thereafter went and submitted the teller to the college, and filed my own photocopy of the teller in line with the school directive ahead of final clearance”, she said.
Enyioke, who brandished the copy of her teller with number 3973404 duly signed and stamped by First Bank, added, “it was when I went for my final clearance recently that the college told me that I have not paid the 2014 fee.
“I gave my copy of the bank teller to the official and she insisted that the payment did not reflect and advised that I return to the bank to sort the matter out so as to enable me get the clearance”, she said.
She alleged that the bank manager had frustrated every attempt to resolve the matter.
“I have visited the bank more than fourteen times to meet the bank manager, except the first day I introduced the matter to the manager and he asked me to come later and since then the secretary had blocked my access to the manager.
“Each time I come, the secretary will say that the branch manager was busy and on one occasion when I was shading tears over the matter, a man who introduced himself as a lawyer approached me and after narrating the incident he elected to assist me”, she said.
Enyioke noted that repeated efforts made with the lawyer who equally wrote the bank on the matter had not yielded result as the manager through his secretary had not opened any channel to sort out the matter with the bank.
“I am appealing that God should touch this man’s spirit because I do not have anybody to get this N43, 550 to go and pay another fee because my sister who assisted me in the payment of the fees recently lost her job.
“I am an orphan, my father who was to train me died in the year 2011, the year I got admission into Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education and that forced me to change from fulltime admission programme to sandwich”, she lamented.
Enyioke who added that it was through her combined efforts with the sisters and brother that she was able to complete the programme, noted, “I was working at a fast food outlet in Asaba, while my sisters engaged in petty trading.
“The whole effort we were making was to ensure that our family produce a first degree holder, but that effort look bleak now due to this problem”, Enyioke an indigene of Isukwuato in Abia state said.
When our reporter visited the bank for reactions, secretary to the branch manager, who earlier demanded to know the intention for meeting with her boss, said that the manager directed that all press issues be channeled to the bank’s corporate headquarters in Lagos.