Family members of Isaac Humba, a security officer with Techno Crime Security Limited, who is attached to a Lagos branch of Fidelity Bank, have accused both firms of playing ‘hide and seek’ with them over the death of their son while on duty.
According to the twin of the late victim, Joshua, the family has yet to be told by both firms how exactly their son died apart from the fact that there was a fire outbreak around the bank’s premises.
Joshua disclosed that besides the soot on a few parts of Humba’s body, he was not burnt or injured in any way by the said fire outbreak. The aggrieved young man revealed that he was left to pay for Humba’s mortuary fees, transportation of the body to their native Benue State from Lagos and entire burial expenses despite the security officer being killed while on duty at the NAHCO Aviance, International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos branch of Fidelity Bank on October 11, 2021.
Joshua, who was at work that fateful day, said he received a call from one Mr Sambo Aliyu, a supervisor with Techno Crime Security Limited, asking him to rush down to the bank’s branch over an accident involving his brother.
The young man, who disclosed that though news of his twin’s death was eventually broken to him before he left his location for Ikeja, he still summoned the courage to go to the place to see things for himself. Nice to him at first and assuring him that Fidelity Bank and the security firm were going to take care of all matters related to the tragedy, officials of both firms changed towards the family immediately the victim was taken to the mortuary, according to Joshua.
Apart from refusing to answer his calls and failing to fulfil any of the promises made to them after the incident happened, officials also failed to visit the family, he claimed.
Joshua disclosed that apart from N100,000 given to the family by Techno Crime Security Limited, all other related burial expenses were left for the family to shoulder.
He said the late Humba’s wife and three children have yet to get the compensation promised by both firms more than one month after his death. “None of the officials of Fidelity Bank and Techno Crime Security Limited are answering my calls again over the issue. This is a different scenario from the impression given when the incident just happened.
“When we got to the morgue on the day of the incident and I asked one Mr Ibanga, a staff member of Techno Crime Security Limited who is to take responsibility for the mortuary bills and burial expenses, he told me Fidelity Bank and Techno would take care of that. He even advised that I shouldn’t allow the corpse of my brother to stay too long in the morgue. He said I should contact my family members in the village to tell them about what had happened and to know when they should bring the corpse for burial from Lagos to Benue.
“One Mr Ben, a patrol officer with Fidelity Bank said I should let the management of the bank know our family’s conclusion so that provision could be made immediately for the burial.
“From the next day when I started calling Mr Ben to inform him of the family’s decision for the body to be brought home that weekend, he didn’t answer my calls again nor did he return them.
“I decided to call Mr Ibanga, who assured me again that both firms would take care of the expenses.
“After not hearing from them again for several days, I visited the bank at the airport to see the manager and complain to him. He told me that he had sent a mail to Fidelity Bank’s head office and was waiting for further instructions on the matter.
“Several days after getting no response from them, I was forced to take a loan of N273,000 to pay for the mortuary bill, hire a vehicle for transportation and buy a casket to take the body home for burial.
“Till this moment and despite incurring debt to bury my brother, Fidelity Bank and Techno Crime Security Limited have yet to take responsibility for the incident. Apart from the N100,000 Mr Ibanga gave to me, they have neglected my brother’s wife and his three children since then.
“All we want is justice for our late brother who died trying to save lives and property in the line of duty. He does not deserve this type of treatment from Fidelity Bank and Techno after serving them diligently,” Joshua said.
When contacted, Mr Ibanga said both Fidelity Bank and Techno Crime Security Limited had no other money to give to the family as the victim was only a contract employee and not a full staff member. According to him, the fire incident that claimed Humba’s life did not happen within or around the bank’s premises but inside NAHCO Aviance, which had nothing to do with them.
“We have given the family the support we have, there is no other money we or Fidelity will give them again. He (Humba) is not a full staff member, he has no letter of employment, I had to go out of my way to ensure his family got the N100,000. We do not owe them any money,” Ibanga said.
An official of Fidelity Bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had no case to answer as the deceased was not contracted to them directly.
“Direct your enquiries to his employer, not Fidelity. It has nothing to do with us,” the official said.