From Tom Garba, Yola
The people of Southern Borno have alleged that one Alhaji Bitari Ilela has fleeced them of over N200 million through his Unity Micro Finance Bank which operated in Biu.
According to one of the victims, Dr Joshua Dikwa, Bitari set up the micro finance bank ostensibly to help revive the battered economy of the area with a genuine registration number obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which convinced many people to deposit their hard earned Money.
Dikwa and other victims lamented that Ilela succeeded in taken away even the pension and gratuity of many people making them unable to cater for their children.
A widow with four children, Mrs Chaman Wazani, wept as she disclosed that Ilela had duped her of N2 million, which was her late husband’s pension meant for the training her children in school.
A civil servant who simply identify himself as Simon Mshelia and was defrauded of N2.5 million begged the government to help track down Ilela in other to retrieve their monies.
“After our investigation we understood the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is aware of the existence of the Bank and where it is operating, haven given the bank the licence to operate with a registration number. We are therefore pleading to Buhari to rescue us out from the trouble this Man has put us through, he is nowhere to be found. He has been into hiding after dumping us and many died as a result of the incident,” Simon said
Alleging that the CBN may have inadvertently issued micro finance banking licences to fraudsters, rights activist, Barr. Kabir Marafa, said “the story is the same all over Nigeria and many of the micro finance banks licensed across the country are not in operation.”
Marafa added: “I categorically want to tell you that CBN has joined hands with bad eggs to cheat our fellow brothers who are mostly peasant famers, petty traders, labourers, pensioners, widows and orphans that wanted to improve their standard of living. All the anti-corruption agencies should be up and doing by arresting any culpable micro finance bank whose owner is shady.”
From Tom Garba, Yola