By Albert OGRAKA, Asaba
THE Management of Access Bank Plc have been issued a seven-day ultimatum to urgently cause an independent investigation and redress the wrongdoings to one of its staff, with a written apology or risk legal action.
The bank which have been dealing with series of management high-handedness and ill-treatment of staff by branch managers, may soon engage in legal battle with one of its staff, Mrs. Confidence Nwabuokei, for character assassination, unlawful detention, degrading and inhuman treatment.
Some management staff in Access Bank Plc branch 025, Asaba, Delta State, including the South-East II zonal head, Mr. Ifeanyi Onwukwe, branch manager, Mrs. Oluchi Nwabuikwu and compliant officer, Mr. Edward Nnaji, were allegedly involved in the harassment, intimidation and tarnishing of staff image and personality for no just cause.
In a petition addressed to the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Herbert Wigwe and signed by A.N. Nwiba on behalf of The Water-Tight Attorneys and made available to Blank NEWS Online, the untoward action of the alleged management staff of Access Bank Plc has caused great life threatening health challenges, loss of goodwill on the said staff.
After failure to turn up with investigation/findings/report as promised by management and as a result of the inhuman treatment meted on her and subsequent transfer to branch 373, Onitsha, Anambra State, including threat calls and messages, Mrs. Confidence Nwabuokei eventually threw in the towel and resigned from the services of Access Bank Plc.
The petition dated 23rd July 2021 read in parts as follows:
“Thus, the gist of the matter is that on the 26th day of February 2021, a day after the birthday of Oluchi Nwabuikwu, she informed the Access Bank staff of branch 025 that she misplaced her car keys in her office.
“However, on the 12th day of April 2021, a car key was discovered on the floor in the bank which Oluchi Nwabuikwu later confirmed was her own.
“Surprisingly, on the 15th day of April 2021 at about 11:00 am, Mrs. Confidence Nwabuokei, who earlier upon resumption in the morning hours saw a bunch of keys on the floor and informed her colleagues was falsely accused of having stolen the keys and subsequently detained from 11:00 am to 04:00 pm.
“Our client was falsely accused, threatened, assaulted which adversely affected our client’s health and she was unlawfully detained inside the bank against her wish while she was still a support staff in Access Bank Plc.
“Our client now suffers from pneumonia5″6,7 8! 9?!%873, severe chest pains and heart enlargement…she has been on several medications and in and out of hospitals ever since, due to the amount of exposure to the air conditioner, inhuman and degrading treatment while in illegal detention in Edward Nnaji’s office.
In an interview, Mrs. Confidence Nwabuokei, who was visibly in great pain and tears confirmed that she was detained for over five hours in the office of one Mr. Edward Nnaji at the Access Bank Plc branch 025, Asaba, and later locked up with a male from 11:00 am to 04:00 pm despite her plea of innocence and her health conditions at that time, over an alleged misplaced but found car keys belonging to her branch manager, Oluchi Nwabuikwu.
She however, regained freedom after she quickly made a call to her husband, Mr. Justice Nwabuokei Esq., who swiftly came to her rescue while she was still being detained within the bank premises.
When separate calls were put through to Access Bank Plc zonal head South-East II, Mr. Ifeanyi Onwukwe, he responded that: “I don’t talk to journalists,’ while the Access Bank Plc branch 025 manager, Mrs. Oluchi Nwabuikwu said “I’m aware and I can hear you but please call my head office about that matter.’
Meanwhile, the ailing Mrs. Confidence Nwabuokei, has formally reported the matter to the police because of her legitimate, human rights that have been encroached upon through unlawful detention, assault and threat to life.