FRC zeroes in on Evelyn Oputu, Aig-Imoukhuede, Wigwe & Others

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8.24 AM / TheWill 

 

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria has invited the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi; the Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr. Erastus Akingbola, the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the just retired MD of Access Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, as well as his mother in-law and Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms. Evelyn Oputu, for questioning as the council begins extensive investigations into the controversial acquisition of Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank, as well as other activities of the CBN for financial years ended December 31, 2011 and 2012.

 

Also invited for questioning are the Acting Governor of the CBN, Dr. Sarah Alade; former Deputy Governor in charge of Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo; present Deputy Governor in charge of Operations, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu; Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau; former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Security, Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), Mr. Ehi’ E Okoyomon; Alhaji Ahmed Barmali; Mr. Igho Dafinone; Mr. Babatunde Dayo; Mr. Gabriel Okpeh and Mr. Ezekiel Ejedele.

 

They are scheduled to appear before investigators at the FRC’s headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday and Thursday, according to an advertorial by the council.

 

“We wish to inform the under-listed persons that the FRC is investigating the activities of the CBN for financial years ended December 31, 2011 and 2012. This investigation includes related matters arising from transactions and events, which impacted on 2011 and 2012 from earlier years and have implications for later periods,” the advertorial said.

 

Sanusi was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan a few weeks ago following his indictment for “financial recklessness and misconduct” by the FRC. A few weeks before his suspension Sanusi had alleged that $20 billion oil revenue was missing.

 

As for Mr. Imoukhuede and Mr. Wigwe, the duo allegedly used a company called United Alliance Company of Nigeria to borrow over N16 billion from Intercontinental Bank which were allegedly written off by the CBN before the forced controversial acquisition of the bank by Access.

 

As for Oputu, whose daughter is married to Mr. Imoukhuede, she is being investigated by the FRC following revelations that she and some directors of the bank allegedly diverted billions of naira and properties belonging to the BoI. Oputu allegedly used a company called Tango Tower amongst others to perpetrate the alleged fraud. The FRC which had earlier indicted her described her tenure as unsatisfactory.

 

THEWILL had extensively reported on the FRC report which noted that some BoI’s assets had disappeared from the bank’s books since 2008 while some had been converted for personal use by some of its directors.

 

Some of the assets are two properties on plot 23A and plot 25 on Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

 

The controversy surrounding the latter, a multi-level property, which is opposite the residence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has forced the former governor to move abandon the residence alleging that it constituted security risks.

 

However when the FRC query prompted the bank on the anomaly, the accounts were restated with the valuation of the multiple storey twin-tower property on 25 Bourdillon Road pegged at N1.2 million, while the value of another massive building on 23A Bourdillon road was put at N946, 000.

 

In the accounts of BoI, the twin-tower multiple storey building generates N3 million in rents annually, while the one on 23A Bourdillon road generates lower.

 

Sources in BOI however revealed to THEWILL that $7.2 million had been earned on the twin-tower building on plot 25 Bourdillon though not stated in the bank’s books. The money, it was learnt, could only be accounted for by Oputu and senior officers in the finance department of the bank.

 

Other highlights of the report included the placement in fixed account in Access Bank, of several intervention funds to assist some state indigenes and some strategic sectors.

 

For instance, BoI accounts allegedly stated that the CBN N535 billion intervention fund for Power and Aviation sectors was fixed at three percent, while it was allegedly put at about 12 percent in Access Bank’s books, THEWILL gathered.

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