The scam this time! Paranoia invades banking halls as EFCC arrests Fidelity, Access and Sterling bank chiefs

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The scam this time! Paranoia invades banking halls as EFCC arrests Fidelity, Access and Sterling bank chiefs

The scam this time! Paranoia invades banking halls as EFCC arrests Fidelity, Access and Sterling bank chiefs
May 07
07:51 2016
  • Shocking revelations unearthed as more bankers are found complicit

Nigerian bank chiefs are in serious trouble. Like prodigal cattle that strayed from their pen to feast with wolves, they shamelessly engaged in gross acts of fraud and dishonour with shady characters in former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

While the bazaar lasted, they earnestly enhanced their co-conspirators’ capacity to loot the country’s coffers. Their conduct could be likened to that of the self-righteous sinner that fed the devil his food, forgetting that there’s a plate that’s been saved just for him.

Following the arrest of Fidelity Bank’s Managing Director (MD), Nnamdi Okonkwo, by the

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for allegedly receiving $115m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, fresh facts have emerged about similar illicit transactions involving other banks – Sterling Bank and Access Bank to be precise.

Operatives of the anti-graft agency said they traced more than $88 million to a hidden account controlled by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterling Bank, Yemi Adeola. Consequently, they swooped on the bank and arrested Adeola for questioning. A highly placed source in the EFCC said the money was transferred to Adeola from Fidelity Bank whose managing director, Okonkwo, was last week detained by the EFCC.

Findings revealed that the $88 million found at Sterling Bank was separate from the $115m given to Fidelity Bank by the ex-oil minister, Diezani. Besides Adeola, MD of Sterling Bank, the EFCC is planning to arrest other key officers of the bank that are found complicit in the monumental fraud and illicit transaction. It is also contemplating the arrest of certain key officials of Sterling Bank – they are to be charged with obstruction of justice. The officials reportedly shut down the bank’s computers to prevent EFCC investigators from gaining access to documents illustrating illegal transactions by the bank.

The funds were allegedly used to bribe officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the 2015 presidential election for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. The fraud was uncovered when the EFCC began investigations into how officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675.1m.

As it turns up the heat on Fidelity Bank and Sterling Bank senior executives, the EFCC has also raided the headquarters of Access Bank and have detained the MD, Herbert Wigwe. Wigwe was arrested over the role he allegedly played in laundering huge sums of money laundered through his bank by officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). A source within the EFCC, who pleaded anonymity, revealed that the Access Bank MD received $5 million routed through Zenith Bank.

In the wake of these arrests, several bank chiefs in the country have been running from pillar to post to cover their flanks, particularly those that were involved in one shady deal or more with former public officers that served with ex-President Jonathan.

Many of the bank chiefs, whose identities would be revealed in due course, have become more desperate.

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