Police have arrested an Operation Manager of Diamond Bank in Warri, Delta State, Mr. Okiti Tarhe, and a cashier for allegedly refusing to accept cash deposit from a customer.
Tarhe, whose action reportedly led to the robbery attack on the customer, Mr Kess Ajobor, was arrested by policemen at Ugborikoko, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area.
Ajobor was robbed at gunpoint while returning home with N750,000 which the manager and cashier rejected on the grounds that it was “cash dump in”.
When contacted on the phone, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Celestina Kalu, confirmed the arrest of the two bank officials in connection with the robbery incident and refusal to accept the Nigerian legal tender.
Kalu said the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in Asaba.She vowed that the police would get to the root of the matter.
Ajobor’s lawyer, Mr. Jakpa Emmanuel of Jakpa, Edogo & Co Law Firm, said his client went to the bank on Wednesday about 4p.m. to deposit N1.7 million, but was told that he had to “box” the money till the next day since it was already late.
Before he left, however, Ajobor was allowed to deposit N300,000 into his personal account with the bank and returned home while the balance, N1.4 million was boxed.
The following day, Ajobor was back at the bank to complete the transaction, but was astonished when Okiti allegedly rejected the cash. According to Emmanuel, Okiti’s refusal to accept the cash was hinged on the fact that the remaining money was in small denominations of N500, N200 and N100 notes which the “bank does not accept”.
He said after much protests, the manager accepted another N650,000 in N500 denomination while the balance of N750,000, which was in N200 and N100 notes, was rejected.
According to him, no sooner had they left the bank premises on Okumagba Avenue into Airport Road with the money kept at the backseat of his car than three armed men blocked their car near NNPC Housing complex and snatched the cash.
Emmanuel said the robbers, ere armed with AK47 rifle each, requested the money as well as his phone which contained his conversation with Okiki without collecting his other Samsung Galaxy tablet and the phone of his client.
When contacted on the phone, the branch manager Diamond Bank, Warri, whose name could not be ascertained, said as an employee of the bank, she was not authorised to speak with journalists on the issue.
She pleaded for time to enable her to get an official reaction from the bank’s headquarters in Lagos.