MTN Communications Limited’s newly licensed Mobile Money Payment Service Bank Limited (MOMO PSB) has claimed that it lost N22.3 billion through fraudulent transactions in one month of operations allegedly orchestrated by 18 banks.
In a suit instituted by the MOMO bank against the 18 banks in the country whose names were not disclosed to the public, the subsidiary service provider revealed that an aggregate sum of N22,300,000,000, which is an equivalent of about $53.7 million, was transferred in error to accounts maintained by customers of the banks in the country.
MTN’s MOMO PSB is contending that the funds having been erroneously transferred belonged to it, and not to the customers of the banks, according to claims contained in an originating summons dated May 30, brought by its Solicitor, Lotanna Chuka Okoli (SAN),
Among other reliefs, the MTN bank is also seeking an order of 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 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 averred 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.
Usoro further claimed that a total of 700, 000 transactions were processed with credits made into about 8,000 various accounts in the listed 18 banks.
He stated that upon becoming aware of the incident, 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 18 banks.
MOMO is contending that, under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Regulation on Instant (Inter-Bank) Electronic Funds Transfer Services, made pursuant to sections 2(D), 33(1)6) and 47(2) of the CBN Act 2007, it is incumbent on the 18 banks to make refund and provide the required information.