The Students Representative Council of Federal College of Education (FCE), Zaria has accused the First Bank of Nigeria, Zaria main branch, of involvement in the alleged diversion of N26 million students’ registration fees.
The bank has however dismissed the allegation as spurious, saying that it had no case to answer. reports reveal that a total of 1,128 students of the college were affected by the disappearance of their registration fees. Mr Nathan Zakka, Chairman of the students’ council, described the development as “disheartening”, and appealed for thorough investigation to trace the missing money. Zakka pleaded for patience and cooperation from the students as the union was liaising with relevant authorities to ensure the recovery of the registration fees from the bank.
“We have briefed the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Abuja and they are equally making arrangement to address the matter. “We have also arranged with the college management through bursary department to help us verify all payments made through First Bank. “This is because they are the operator of TSA who only have access to the remita code for verification and as soon as the exercise is done, we will ensure that your money is recovered,”
he said. According to him, the affected students paid their money through the bank and possess duly certified stamped tellers and numbers. Mr Babatunde Lasaki, Head, Corporate Affairs, First Bank, however, debunked the allegation blaming the affected students for their misfortune. He said: “From the initial report sent to us after an investigation, it actually shows that there are thousands of students who paid their registration fees in the branch.” Lasaki explained that it was when the students went to the college for validation that the problem was detected.
“It was in the process of this validation they got to know that some of the students did not duly register. “These affected students did not pay their money in the bank, they actually paid their money in cyber cafes, not in our branch. “We understand that some of these cyber cafés encourage students to come and do all the registration with them instead of going to the bank, so in this situation, the bank has no case with the affected students,”
he said. Lasaki added that the case had been reported to the police and expressed the hope that the matter would be thoroughly investigated to ensure justice to both parties. On its part, the Kaduna State Police Command through its spokesperson, ASP Aliyu Usman confirmed receipt of the case, assuring that investigation into the matter was on.