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Sunday, August 30, 2009

'Sacked bank chief flees Nigeria'


One of the five bank chiefs who were sacked by the Centr al Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week has fled into self-exile to avoid harassment, instead of giving himself up to the anti-gr aft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the private Thisday newspaper reported Friday.

The paper said Mr. Erastus Akingbola, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of In tercontinental Bank who was in London when he was sacked, returned to Nigeria Monday, but suddenly left again on Wednesday thr ough one of the neighbouring countries, following the arrest of three of the other four CEOs by the EFCC.

â?Akingbola did not literally flee the country. He had to leave to avoid being harassed and detained by the security operatives. You can see the way his colleagues are being harassed and intimidated by the EFCC,'' Thisday quoted an unnamed aide of the former bank chief as saying.

Three of the five sacked CEOs â" Union Bankâ?s Bartholomew Ebong, FinBankâ?s Okey Nwosu and Afribank Nigeria Plcâ?s Sebastian Adigwe â" along with the 16 top official of their subsidiaries, are still being detained by the EFCC.

Cecilia Ibru, the former CEO of Oceanic Bank, has yet to report to the EFCC.

The CBN blames the CEOs for the instability in their banks and ''for acting in a manner that was detrimental to the interest of their depositors and creditors''. It has also injected over 400 billion naira in to the banks to shore up their capital.

On Wednesday, the EFCC gave all the debtors to the affected banks a seven-day ul timatum to pay up or face prosecution.

Akingbola has already challenged his sack in court.

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