Mobile Money Payment Service Bank Limited (MOMO PSB), a newly licensed banking subsidiary of MTN Communications Limited, has suffered a massive fraud worth over “N22 billion on its network” in less than a month.
A suit instituted by the Mobile Money Bank against 18 banks disclosed that an aggregate sum of N22,300,000,000, equivalent to about $53.7m was erroneous transferred to accounts maintained by customers of 18 different banks in the country.
In the originating summons dated May 30, 2022, and filed before a Federal High Court, MTN’s MOMO payment bank is seeking a court declaration that the deposits of the said sum of N22.3 billion were allegedly erroneously transferred by the company to the accounts of customers of the 18 banks.
The MTN bank is also seeking an order from the court directing the 18 banks to individually account for the sums available in their customer accounts and the sums which have been removed by the customers and are no longer available.
In an affidavit in support of the originating summons, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MOMO PSB Ltd, Mr Anthony Usoro claimed that MOMO PSB Ltd is the bona fide owner of the aggregate sum of N22.3B which is maintained in its MOMO settlement account.
He maintained that on or about the 24th day of May 2022, it was noticed that funds had been erroneously transferred from its settlement account to various accounts maintained by the 18 banks.
Speaking further, Anthony in the affidavit further claimed that a total of about 700, 000 transactions were processed with credits made into about 8,000 various accounts in the listed 18 banks.
Upon becoming aware of the incident, he further asserted that MOMO PSB Ltd management responded by immediately shutting down the service to limit the impact and triggered engagement with the banks for the commencement of recovery activities from the accounts of the various beneficiaries in the various banks.
The erroneous transfers, he claimed, were due to the fact that MOMO PSB Ltd suffered system exploitation which led to the said debits.
The MTN’s MOMO Bank’s boss in the affidavit asserted that the 18 banks requested an order of court mandating them to reverse the credits made into their customers’ accounts before they can do so, hence, the filing of the suit.
The complainant, therefore, implored the Federal High Court to compel the 18 commercial banks operating in the country to refund about N22. 3billion erroneously transferred into their customers’ accounts.
It also asked the court to order the banks to provide information about the customers into whose accounts the said funds were unintentionally paid.