In a rare feat of honesty and good citizenship, the Managing Director of Peace Mass Transit (PMT), Dr Maduka Onyishi, has returned N2,219,500,000 which was mistakenly paid into his account.
The money was refunded in the presence of reporters and other members of the public.
A cheque bearing the amount was received on behalf of First Bank by the Business Manager, Commercial Banking, Mr. Kokelu Ben and Branch Manager, Unity Bank, Enugu Branch, Mrs. Ifeoma Eleanya.
Explaining how he discovered the money in his First Bank account, Onyishi said he had requested for $3 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through Unity Bank, only to be paid $10 million instead, which is about N3,219,500,000, representing an excess of N2,219,500,000.
He said: “The amount they paid in was N3,219,500,000, but my own money there is N1,000,000,000, so the balance is not mine. I said I cannot invest this money and be profiting from another person’s sweat, and I can’t also keep it. I can’t keep $7 million that doesn’t belong to me.
“I told my bank to pay money into my account that I want to take $3 million but they paid $10 million instead. I called them and informed them of the overpayment but they said the $10 million was mine.
“I told them they failed to give me a statement of my account even when I demanded for it severally. I discovered later that the amount was even more than what we are talking about because there was another person I asked the bank to pay whom they paid extra.
“I made enquiries and they told me that I should wait until when it was time for banks to reconcile accounts to find where the error stemmed from. I waited for a month and no one called me. I told the devil that he is a deceiver and a liar. He knows that I need money now that is why this thing is happening now.
“That’s why I invited First Bank and Unity Bank and reporters. I said let me give the money to First Bank, if they find out that the money is mine, they should return it. If it belongs to Unity Bank or CBN, give it to them. If it is your own, keep it. So I am giving this money to you to keep on trust.”
He called on the management of CBN, Unity Bank and First Bank to look into the origin of such leakages.
In his remarks, Ben said, “I don’t have any official thing to say but I must state that Dr Onyishi is a man of integrity. When we look into the situation, we will advise him on what happened and how to remedy this situation.”