Money Laundering? EFCC Arrests Zenith Bank MD Over Governor Wike’s 117Billion Naira. - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Money Laundering? EFCC Arrests Zenith Bank MD Over Governor Wike’s 117Billion Naira.

Money Laundering? EFCC Arrests Zenith Bank MD Over Governor Wike’s 117Billion Naira.

* First Bank, Heritage Bank, On EFCC watch list

· EFCC probe plunge banking czars in hysteria

· More shocking revelations to come as senior bank chiefs are found complicit

The sweet simplicity of the steep per cents attains bitterness and an unparalleled form of ugliness in the currency-activated halls and offices of Nigerian banks even as you read. Yes, bankers are like gnomes from a distance.
At close quarters, they loom large like hideous ogres attuned to the art of passing currency from hand to hand, account to account, until it finally disappears. Perhaps it’s because bankers deal with too much money that they have become open to anything.

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Consequently, too many bankers demean the profession that confers honour on them. There is no gainsaying the recent revelation on Zenith Bank’s complicity in the  Rivers State’s N117 billion scandal reveals the dishonesty of the country’s top bank chiefs.

Its often said, men toss away their conscience in pursuit of money. Eventually, they become beacons of dishonour by their pitch dark exploits. Like the proverbial turncoat that betrayed his people’s hopes soon after he was entrusted with the wheel of their collective destinies, some state governors  perpetuate the worst forms of treachery against their people.

However, the Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo was arrested  by anti-graft investigators over a series of transactions his bank allegedly carried out on behalf of  Governor Wike of Rivers State.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is alleging that the transactions, at least N117 billion in value, are suspicious in nature but that Zenith failed to report them as demanded by law. According to insiders at the EFCC and Zenith Bank,  Amangbo was held to explain why his bank failed to document the withdrawals, allegedly done over a three-year period, as suspicious.

Mr Amangbo was first invited for questioning on August 23, sources said. But he was freed on administrative bail and asked to return on August 24 for further interrogation. He honoured the arrangement, turning himself in again at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja.

Our sources said the top banker was however not allowed to return home on Friday. “He was still being quizzed as at 4 p.m. on Sunday,” one source said. The suspects considered to be at large include Fubara Similari, whom investigators identified as the director of finance and account at the Government House in Port Harcourt. The Government House cashier is also said to be on the run.

An EFCC detective had narrated how the withdrawals were made. “The bulk of the money was collected by one official over the counter with as many as 45 to 50 cheques issued in one day,” he said.
“The records retrieved showed that on June 8, 2015, about N450million was cashed over the counter through 45 cheques with each cheque worth N10million,” he said.

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“The same thing was done on June 9, 2015 when N500million was cashed in bit of N10million. There is no record of what the cash was used for. “There is a case of money laundering which we cannot gloss over. And it is good that the MD of Zenith Bank has admitted that the bank did not report the suspicion transactions. Our detectives are making progress and the nation will soon be briefed on the findings of the EFCC.”

In the wake of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s arrest of Zenith Bank MD,  fresh facts reveal that the EFCC would be turning the heat on First Bank and Heritage Bank very soon.

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