PSB: MTN protests alleged N22bn fraud



By Ismail Auwal

MTN Communications Limited’s newly licensed Mobile Money Payment Service Bank Limited (MOMO PSB) has sued 18 banks in an effort to recover more than N22 billion that was “erroneously” dropped to the clients of the defendant banks.

The MTN Communications bank revealed that the sum which is equivalent to about $53.7 million, was transferred in error to accounts maintained by customers of the banks in the country.

MTN Bank is also asking the court to issue an order directing the 18 banks to individually account for the amounts available in their customer accounts and the amounts that have been removed by the customers and are no longer available.

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.

Usoro in an affidavit in support of the originating summons 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.

No date has been fixed for the hearing.

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