A staff of Access Bank Mrs Confidence Nwabuokei has petitioned the bank Management over unlawful detention and treatment meted out to her in her branch office in Asaba, Delta state Capital.
In her petition letter addressed to the Managing Director of the bank Herbert Wigwe by her lawyers Water Tight Attorney’s, titled UNLAWFUL DETENTION, CHARACTER ASSASSINATION, DEGRADING AND INHUMAN TREATMENT Mrs Nwabuokei is giving the bank ‘ seven (7) days to cause an independent investigation into the matter and redress the wrong done with a written apology published in two National dailies and ensure that all the staff involved in the set up, character assassination, unlawful detention, degrading and inhuman treatment against our Client are seriously disciplined – failure to so do, we shall not hesitate to commence legal action against your establishment (Access Bank Plc).’
THE PETITION READ THUS;
MANAGING DIRECTOR/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO),
ACCESS BANK PLC,
14/15, PRINCE ALABA ABIODUN, ONIRU ROAD,
VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS, NIGERIA.
UNLAWFUL DETENTION, CHARACTER ASSASSINATION, DEGRADING AND INHUMAN TREATMENT AGAINST MRS CONFIDENCE NWABUOKEI BY OLUCHI NWABUIKWU, EDWARD NNAJI AND IFEANYI ONWUKWE.
We are a firm of Solicitors and our professional services have been retained by Mrs Confidence Nwabuokei, (who is the wife of our Managing Partner) of Nnebisi road by FMC, Asaba, Delta State (herein after refers to as “our Client”) and on her firm instruction and authority we write.
It is our Client’s brief that she was formerly a support staff in Access bank Plc, branch 025, Asaba, Delta State and she worked as a teller before her resignation. 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 by the connivance of Oluchi Nwabuikwu, Edward Nnaji and Ifeanyi Onwukwe (herein after refers to as “your aforementioned staff”) who are all staff of Access Bank Plc.
Thus, the gist of the matter is that on the 26th day of February, 2021, a day after the birthday of Oluchi Nwabuikwu; that Oluchi Nwabuikwu informed the Access Bank Staff of branch 025, Asaba, Delta State, that she misplaced her car keys.
However, on the 12th day of April, 2021, our Client who was still a support staff in Access Bank Plc at the time, in the branch then with Oluchi Nwabuikwu, towards the morning hours of the day, saw a car key on the floor and informed one of her colleagues by name Juliet Isichei that she saw a car key on the floor, and both of them ignored it and went about their normal business for the day, having forgotten that Oluchi Nwabuikwu said in February 26th, 2021, that she misplaced her car key during her birthday at the office. Later on, another staff by name Annastacia also told the same Juliet Isichei that she also saw the same car key on the floor which looks like the misplaced car key of Oluchi Nwabuikwu. The car key was shown to Oluchi Nwabuikwu who confirmed that the car key was her own.
Surprisingly, on the 15th day of April, 2021, at about 11a.m, our Client was called upon to balance herself, log out from her system and was taking to the office of Edward Nnaji for interrogation and detention, and was falsely accused as the person that stole Oluchi Nwabuikwu’s car key. Our Client who at the time before her interrogation and illegal detention visited the hospital on the 12th day of April, 2021, because she was ill of fever and malaria. Our Client was detained from 11a.m to 4p.m at Edward Nnaji’s office and all plea, entreaties to let our client go back to her work position due to her ill health fell on deaf ears, our client even pleaded with your aforementioned staff to either reduce or switch off the air conditioner in Edward Nnaji’s office because it was affecting our client’s health adversely, which was seriously rebuffed by your aforementioned staff and our client was warned never to complain again. Those who interrogated our client left our client alone in company of another male staff and they locked the office and went out by 11a.m only for them to return by past 4p.m when our client’s husband had called your aforementioned staff on phone to demand while his wife will be locked with a male in an office from 11a.m to 4p.m against our client’s wish and that our client was the only staff that was called upon for interrogation/detention. As a result of the call placed on Ifeanyi Onwukwe who is the Access Bank Zonal head of South-East II, by our Client’s husband, our client was hurriedly released and allowed to go back to her work position.
Thus, luckily for our client, she was able to call her husband, Barr. Justice Nwabuokei from her illegal detention around 4p.m and explained the whole situation to him (our client’s husband) and that they (your aforementioned staff) refused her (our client) leaving when she told them that she was not comfortable in the office due to her ill health.
However, Ifeanyi Onwukwe, having realized that they goofed by illegally detaining our client from 11a.m to 4p.m alone without being interrogated for that period under the illegal detention quickly organized a kangaroo interrogation of all the remaining staff from 5p.m just to cover up their illegality and he sent a mail to that effect by 12a.m the next day that all the staff should be interrogated, just to have a kind of ‘corporate authorization’ for their illegal acts.
Oluchi Nwabuikwu confronted our client that our client stole her car key and started circulating a purported doctored CCTV footage to some staff saying that our client stole her car key. Our client was not shown any video of any purported CCTV footage, even when your aforementioned staff threatened our client that they were going to watch the CCTV footage of the happenings and returned to her for her to watch it herself. Your aforementioned staff never showed our client any CCTV footage; neither did they submit their report indicting or vindicating our client. At the exact spot where the car key was found, there is a CCTV camera directly above the spot where the key was found, our client demanded from your aforementioned staff that the CCTV of that particular camera directly above the spot where the car key was found should be played, to our client’s greatest surprise and shock, our client was told by your aforementioned staff that the CCTV camera directly above the spot where the car key was found was not working as at the time the car key was declared missing to the time it was found.
Our client kept on demanding from your aforementioned staff the report of their investigation/findings in other to clear her name as staff, former colleagues and customers of Access Bank Plc have started calling our client a thief. Instead of your aforementioned staff to make their investigation/findings/report known, they kept on procrastinating the release of their report and they transferred our client to Access Bank, branch 373, Port-Harcourt Road branch, Onitsha, Anambra State, to cover up their hidden agenda. Initially, they told our Client and our client’s husband that the report of their investigation would be ready latest two weeks from the date of our client’s unlawful detention.
Ever since from the 15th day of April, 2021, where our client was illegally detained on the instruction of your aforementioned staff, our client’s health situation has deteriorated adversely. Our client now suffers from pneumonia, severe chest pain and heart enlargement which causes her heart to beat abnormally. Our client is now in severe pains and 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 melted to her in Edward Nnaji’s office while she was under illegal detention.
Since then, some unknown persons have been calling our client with unknown and hidden number to threaten the life of our client since our client demanded for the report of the investigative panel set by your aforementioned staff.
Our client’s life is seriously at risk, she has lost so much goodwill, friends and even her health has deteriorated adversely as a result of the gang up and deliberate attempt by your aforementioned staff and their co-conspirators to harm, harass, intimidate and tarnish our client’s well built image and personality over time for no just cause.
We hereby write your establishment (Access Bank Plc), giving it seven (7) clear days from the date of the receipt of our letter to cause an independent investigation into the matter and redress the wrong done to our client by your aforementioned staff, with a written apology published in two National dailies and ensure that your aforementioned staff and all the staff involved in the set up, character assassination, unlawful detention, degrading and inhuman treatment against our Client are seriously disciplined – failure to so do, we shall not hesitate to commence legal action against your establishment (Access Bank Plc).
A.N. NWIBA, Barrister-at-law
(For: the Water-tight Attorneys)
- The Chairman, National Human Rights Commission,
No.19 Aguyi Ironsi Street, Maitama. PMB 444, Garki, Abuja.
2. The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria,
Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way,
Central Business District, Cadastral Zone,
Abuja, Federal Capital Territory,