Brazen Mama

On the first Sunday of this month, I got a WhatsApp message from a man I’ve had a business relationship that has spanned nearly five years. He said he’d made a transfer of three hundred and fifty thousand naira to my account on the 24th of June and he wanted me to confirm it. I wasn’t particularly worried because I knew nothing like that had entered my account.

While First Bank is a shitty bank that is still withholding my 3,050 since January, they wouldn’t leave 350k hanging in limbo for weeks. I told him I hadn’t seen anything like that, besides we didn’t have any pending transaction and I would have asked for an explanation for the money. I promptly put the matter at the back of my mind.

Sometime this week, he called me and said his bank confirmed that the money was sent to my account and he would forward the page from his statement of account to my WhatsApp. The picture came and to my shock, I saw my name on the statement. GT Bank said the money was sent to Ezenwa Adae… The evidence was there in black ink on white paper.

I wondered if I could have seen the money and spent it without knowing? Did I have Dissociative Identity Disorder? Could that be the reason I am fat even though I don’t eat that much because of one of my multiple personalities went about eating ten big meals daily. Please don’t mention Coca-Cola here, thank you.

What could I have spent the money on? Could I have bought the HP laptop I’d been stalking on Jumia and it hasn’t been delivered yet? Where was the remaining money then? Or had one of my personalities thrown a wild party at some club for her friends. That could explain the headaches that plagued me when I wake up, at least it was a far more interesting reason than plain old anaemia.

I tried to access my statement of account via my First Mobile App but the app kept saying my network connection couldn’t support the service. Because I was in Mushin at the time and I knew that Airtel network wasn’t stable in that area from the time I worked partly at LUTH last year. I decided to go to the bank and get a statement of account on paper.

When I got to the customer service desk, it was crowded. I sat on the metal bench near the table and took that opportunity to rest a little. While waiting, a woman sat beside me, throwing her full weight on the chair and speaking to the girls beside her in rapid-fire Yoruba. Two minutes or so later, she stood up and went to the customer service officer and got a form for something, I wasn’t paying close attention, I was pressing my phone.

When it was my turn, I went there, got the statement of account request form from the officer and filled it for my two first bank savings accounts as he had both of them. As I was filling the form, she stepped out. When she got back to her desk, I gave her the form and the woman stood up and started shouting. She said I was jumping the queue as she came before me.

I was stunned.

The customer service officer said she would attend to her first as she came before me. I said that wasn’t going to happen as the woman met me sitting there. The woman screamed that she saw me walking into the hall and found my seat beside her.

For the second time in three minutes, I was stunned.

“Madam, when you sat on that bench while talking to those young women, I was there already.”

She opened her mouth to launch another attack but the man who had been waiting for his transaction to be concluded, spoke up. He asked her if she had left the banking hall for any reason and she said she hadn’t.

“Then she came before you,” he said. “We were sitting there together until it was my turn and then you came.”

She huffed and went back to the seat while I struggled to contain my shock. While I have met brazen, daring liars – anyone who was a boarder in a Nigerian federal school in the 1990s knows more than a few, it would never have occurred to me that an adult would lie with such impunity over something as inconsequential as who got to a banking hall first.

Interestingly, the bank’s system was undergoing an upgrade and they couldn’t access statement of accounts. The woman stalked away while I sat back to digest what had just happened.

I called the man to tell him what happened at the bank and wondered if it didn’t sound suspicious that it had to be that same day that the bank decided to upgrade its system and I couldn’t give him a statement of account.

That evening, I tried FirstMobile again and I was able to access the statement of account on the app. I took pictures of the statement from my screen (the bank app doesn’t allow screenshots) and sent them to him via WhatsApp, I would still go to the bank the next day to get a statement on paper that he could take to the bank.

He called me the next morning to say he had gone to his bank with my messages and they checked the account number the money was sent to and found that it wasn’t mine. Seeing my account statements made them more thorough in their search.

“So why didn’t the person who got the money confirm the alert since?” My mother asked when I told her what happened. I’m still wondering myself.

One Comment

  1. Hmm. Nice read.

    By the way: why are you, a young lady, banking with First Bank? You had better abandon your account with them and bank with a new generation bank.

    Reply

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