Six years after the erstwhile Managing Director of the defunct Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, was removed and later convicted for alleged diversion of shareholders’ funds, the last appears not to have been had over the N150 billion that she reportedly forfeited in assets and cash following her conviction for fraud by a court of law.
THISDAY learnt at the weekend that the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-corruption had summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) along with other relevant stakeholders to appear before it over a petition alleging irregularities in the execution of the failed banks’ consolidation.
The committee, it was also learnt, would beam its searchlight on the recovery of assets from loan defaulters as well as convicted managing directors of the then Oceanic Bank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Union Bank Plc, AfriBank Plc and Bank PHB.
This fresh development over the matter is the fallout of a petition addressed to the Senate committee by stakeholders, alleging that the funds and properties recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were not remitted to the banks.
Besides, these properties and shares were also said not to have been advertised for sales neither were the proceeds remitted to the banks nor released to AMCON.
A letter of summons addressed to CBN and AMCON and signed by the Committee Chairman, Senator Victor Lar, said the committee would be particularly interested in the whereabouts of the assets of Mrs. Ibru which were forfeited under the plea bargain arrangement.
The assets said to be in custody of EFCC have not been allegedly accounted for since the forfeiture.
Nigeria’s Neighbours Profiting from New Automotive Policy
The total number of vehicles discharged from Lagos ports have dropped to 8,000 units in January 2015, from 27,000 units in January 2014. This 63 per cent decrease is an indication that Nigeria’s automotive policy has begun taking its toll on car imports, VenturesAfrica has reported.
The chairman of the Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Dr. Vicky Haastrup, speaking in Lagos secretly explained that some government policies on importation were affecting the volume of cargo handled at ports.
“It must be noted, though, that in the first half of 2014, the volume of vehicles imported was extremely high in anticipation of the introduction of the new duty regime on vehicles. The average number of cars and vans imported for previous years was in the range of 20,000 units per month.”
She also explained that in the Cotonou port, the total number of cars and vans discharged in January 2015 was 30,000 units, as against 20,000 units discharged in January 2014. This represents a 50 per cent growth.