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Sunday, August 30, 2009

NIGERIA:EFCC set to arraign sacked banks’ chiefs.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may arraign the chief executives and executive directors of the five banks that had their boards dissolved last week by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) before the end of the week.

A CBN source told Business Hallmark that the apex bank had already submitted all relevant documents necessary for the prosecution of the ousted banks’ chiefs to the anti graft agency. According to the source, “The truth is that as the CBN Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, was holding the press briefing to inform the world about the boards’ dissolution, last Friday, the EFCC had received the documents that would lead to the prosecution of the affected officials”.

Confirming the intervention of EFCC in the case, the spokesperson of the agency, Femi Babafemi told Business Hallmark on phone Tuesday, that the body had waded into the matter and is trying to investigate whether the sacked bank MDs flout any law in the discharge of their duties while in office.

According to Babafemi, the agency will also beam its searchlight on the banks’ debtors.

He however claim ignorance of any move to arrest the former bank chiefs this week, claiming that investigation is still going on.

However, Business Hallmark sources revealed that the five former bank chiefs are to be arraigned in court this week, barring any intervention from powerful quarters.

It would be recalled that Mallam Lamido Sanusi had stated at the briefing that the apex bank “had not accused anyone of infraction yet. But if we find out that the affected sacked banks’ officials were involved in insider related abuses, we intend to prosecute them.”

The chief executive officers that were axed by the CBN and are likely to be arraigned this week include, Mrs Cecilia Ibru(Oceanic Bank), Mr. Barth Ebong(Union Bank), Mr. Erastus Akingbola (Intercontinental Bank), Mr. Sebastian Adigwe (Afribank) and Mr. Okey Nwosu (Fin Bank).

Industry analysts believe that the EFCC’s action is aimed at forestalling attempts by any of the sacked bank chief executives to challenge the CBN’s action in court.

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