Customer alleges Lagos bank breached trust, lost travel documents
By Haruna Salami
A father of three and customer of Polaris Bank (formerly Skye Bank), Ebony Bazuaye has claimed that the bank has ruined his life, because it allegedly lost his and his family’s travel documents, deposited with the bank.
Bazuaye, who returned from the United Kingdom in 2006, narrated his ordeal in the hands of Polaris Bank, told Ashenewsonline reporter that he decided to approach the Ikeja Computer Village Branch of Polaris Bank, shortly after his family returned from London in 2006 for the safe keeping of his passport and those of his wife and son.
According to him, the decision has turned out to be his greatest mistake he ever made because the bank did not only lose all the papers, but also refused to give any concrete explanations about the sudden and mysterious disappearance of his family travel documents with valid British Visas from its vault.
“I kept my international passport and that of my wife and son in the custody of Polaris bank for safe keeping for which I pay charges to the bank quarterly.
“When I went to the bank one particular day to collect the passports, I was asked to come back”.
Bazuaye said he made repeated calls to Polaris bank branch in Ikeja to retrieve the passports but each time he did, the bank failed to provide the papers.
“I keep going to the bank but officials there were unable to find my passports despite proofs the documents were with them,” he said.
According to him, it was only after he instructed a lawyer to write to the managing director of the bank, Mr. Adetokunbo Abiru that the bank invited him for a meeting.
During the meeting with the Regional Manager, Mrs. Bukola Osho, Bazuaye said, the bank admitted that his international passport and that of his wife and son were missing and offered to pay him N300,000 as compensation and another N105,000 for him to procure 3 new passports with British valid visas.
He said when he declined, the bank wrote to him saying it never admitted losing the documents and that it has records showing that he had collected the documents, but merely made him the offer in the spirit of customer care.
Bazuaye said he has instructed his lawyers to institute legal action against Polaris Bank for the immeasurable psychological damage its alleged ‘carelessness’ had caused him.
He alleged that some officials of the bank stole the passports from the bank’s vault and have them sold in the infamous passport racketeering business in Lagos.
He called on relevant security agencies in Nigeria, to swing into action and help retrieve his family travel documents that are “missing from the vault of Polaris Bank”.
He also called on the British High Commission to, by this publication, be informed and briefed and appealed to members of the general public to help prevail on Polaris Bank to produce his family travel papers.
According to Bazuaye, his experience with Polaris Bank has greatly altered the trajectory of his life.
“It is like a long and unending nightmare”, he said.
Ashenewsonline‘s email to the Head, Corporate Communications of the Bank, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa requesting the Bank’s response to the allegation, was not replied as at the time of filing this report.