Loan Repayment: Widow cries out for help, alleges infringement of human rights

A widow and mother of four, Mrs. Elebeke Chisom from Umuopia Akokwa in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo state, Friday cried out for help from well-meaning Nigerians, following the unfortunate demise of her husband, Mr Samuel Elebeke, who took a loan of N500,000 from a Microfinance Bank to boost his spare parts business.

She alleged that, she has been receiving different types of maltreatment, including intimidation and harassment from Staff and Management of the Microfinance bank, who came to her husband’s shop and catered away all the goods therein, without recourse to the agreement, that she will repay the loan as soon as her husband is buried.

Narrating her ordeal, Mrs. Elebeke stated that since her husband’s death, she has not been able to take care of the domestic needs of all her children, couple with threats from the Microfinance bank in Imo State.

According to her: “Hello Nigerians, please come to my rescue and that of my children. My name is Mrs. Elebeke Chisom from Umuopia Akokwa in Ideato North LGA of Imo state. Am a widow with four Children and we have been passing through hell in the hands of a Microfinance Bank, that my husband took a loan from before the sudden sickness that lead to his death.

“He took a loan of N500,000 from them to add up to his business money to buy goods. He became sick with stroke (paralysis) not up to a week he bought the goods and later died. Two weeks after, the bank came and locked the shop and 3 days after his death, without anybody’s consent, they came to me, I promised to pay them back after the burial of my husband.

“They refused and went and broke the shop a week to my husband’s burial and packed all the goods in the shop. My husband sells motor parts and engine oil.

“They packed everything in the shop that worth millions and also collected the money in the shop and before the information will get to me, they had already gone. I went to the nearby police station in Akokwa division and reported .

“The police invited the bank to come, they refused to come and as the burial of my husband was already in a week’s time, I decided to wait and concentrate on the burial first.

“On the day of my husband’s wake which was on 6th July 2023, the bank came with policemen from State CID Owerri and arrested me. They took me to Owerri and they accused me that I broke the shop they locked and was selling my husband’s goods and that I also called thugs to attack them. Thank God I have a video footage that shows how they broke the shop and made away with everything.

“Since then, the bank people have been after my life and I can’t even feed my children and since their father’s death, I have not been able to pay for their school fees. Nigeria should come to my rescue from the hands of this Microfinance bank. I plead for justice.”

Vanguard investigation revealed that the husband of the widow had bought goods with the loan before he became very sick and after two weeks and three days of being sick, he died.

A close friend to deceased family added that: “Other financial institutions he was owing like FINCA and LAPO came during the family meeting and wrote their loan off while the Microfinance bank went and locked the man’s shop with different keys.

“When they came to the family, they were told to wait after the burial, that the family will make plans on how to repay the 500,000 loan that was taken. Days after, they went to late Samuel Elebeke’s shop with three vehicles and carried all the goods in the man’s shop while late Mr Samuel was still in the mortuary.

“They carried the goods without contacting the late man’s wife nor any member of his family. They did not also contact the Police. The wife, Mrs Chisom heard the news and contacted the Police. The police wrote to the bank and invited them to come, but they did not come.

“Days after, on 6th July, while the Mrs Chisom was still making arrangements for the husband’s burial that was scheduled for 7th July, 2023, the microfinance bank came with police men from State CID owerri and arrested the Mrs Chisom.

“They claimed that Mrs Chisom broke into the shop and was selling the goods adding that they came and asked her why and she threatened them and sent thugs to attack them. This woman is suffering because her husband is dead. Well meaning Nigerians should come to her aid. The Governor’s wife can help her come out of this travail. A woman mustn’t suffer simply because her husband is dead.”

When contacted, a Staff of the Bank who did not want her name in print declined commenting on the matter.

She said: “I don’t know what you are talking about. In fact, who gave you my number?”