By Blaise Udunze
OFFICIALS of the Compliance Unit of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday afternoon, swooped on the headquarters of Fidelity Bank Plc, Lagos, as part of investigations into the $115 million transaction involving its Managing Director, Nnamdi Okonkwo, and former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating Okonkwo on the suspicion that the money was used to bribe officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the 2015 elections. But the bank has said the transactions – now being traced to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources – were duly reported to the appropriate agencies as required by law.
Daily Sun findings showed that the bank’s executive committee has already made a comprehensive presentation to the CBN on the transactions. The visit by the Compliance Department of the apex bank was however to compare transaction documents with the presentation made by the committee. Also, the presentation and documents will be compared with the statement made to EFCC by Okonkwo during interrogation.
Meanwhile, the board of the bank has appointed the Executive Director, North Operations, Mohammed Balarabe, as the acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect subject to regulatory approval.
The board said the decision followed “the absence of the substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.” The board assured its customers, including its shareholders of its continued services despite the change in leadership.
But the bank’s shares fell for the second day hitting a two-month low on Tuesday after the EFCC detained the bank’s chief executive last week, prompting it to appoint an acting chief executive.