Some employees of an old generation bank in Enugu State on Thursday, June 25, 2015 exchanged blows with customers who crowded the bank for enrollment of the Bank Verification Number, BVN, following the deadline of Tuesday, June 30, 2015 given by Nigeria’s apex bank.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had issued a warning that accounts would be frozen if the concerned persons fail to obtain their BVN before the set deadline.
This warning instilled fear into some customers who turned out en masse at banking halls across different states of the federation especially in Enugu since the week began.
Things turned sour at an old generation bank, located in the Independence Layout area of the state when security personnel and operations staff of the financial institution asked some customers to go outside the banking hall to wait until their turn for the enrollment.
However, the directive did not go down well with the customers, who protested, and caused commotion in the initially peaceful banking hall.
It was learnt that about 100 customers had converged at the bank since 6am, and immediatly rushed into the banking hall when the doors were opened by 8am.
According to Punch, in a bid to maintain order, the bank officials asked the first 10 among the customers to fill the BVN forms and join about 30 others who did not complete the registration the previous day.
The aggrieved customers made further protests and resisted attempt by some bank officials to lead them away from the banking hall.
A fight immediately ensued with a young man engaging an armed riot policeman, who was attached to the bank, in a physical combat, while another customer exchanged blows with a bank worker.
Things got worse as some customers, who wanted to capitalise on the confusion to move to the front of the queue, were physically resisted by those who were already there.
It took the intervention of some other bank security personnel, who were outside, to restore peace in the banking hall.
The branch manager of the bank later announced that the bank would open on Saturday, June 27, 2015 to continue the enrollment, while lamenting that customers had all the time for the enrollment but failed to turn up.