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Labour seeks prosecution of those behind failed banks

By Victor Ahiuma-Young
TRADE Union Congress of Nigeria(TUC)has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to immediately arrest and commence prosecution of all those said to have contributed to the collapse of some banks in the country in which about N 188 Billion of depositors funds are trapped.

The body in a statement by its President-General and Secretary-General, Comrade Peter Esele and Chief John Kolawole, said it is baffled at the huge amount of depositors and investors money that were cornered by those that were supposed to keep them in safe custody, but who later turn around such funds for personal use.

The statement read in part: “TUC demands that Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), and all regulatory bodies in the financial sector commence immediate prosecutions of all those fingered to have contributed to the collapse of some banks in the country.

TUC notes that once upon a time these criminals cum bank chief executives were everywhere enjoying depositor’s funds with reckless abandon not minding what conditions their actions may have subjected such depositors. The congress therefore commends the senate committee on Banking for their courage in exposing these men and women whose actions has led the death of their victims, while  families are exposed to untold hardship. We also recall that these bank chief executives have at one time or the other bagged different titles such as the godfather or icon of Nigeria banking with majority of them riding on Lincoln Navigators and other exotic cars with police escorts to go with.

The congress is baffled at the huge amount of depositors and investors money that were cornered by those that were supposed to keep them in safe custody, but who later turn around such funds for personal use.

TUC is aware of the prowls of one the chiefs who used funds deposited in his bank to construct houses at choice locations nationwide using different names and tittles to beat  security operatives, and today he is somewhere with his family enjoying this ill gotten wealth. We are worried that a whooping sum of N188bn of depositors funds are trapped in these so called failed banks, with N94.4bn belonging to ministries, departments and agencies of government. We are equally disturbed that two federal agencies, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), vested with powers to regulate activities in this sector looked the other way while these unholy acts were perpetuated by these men and women. In developed societies, they would have bagged 150 years jail terms each, or even face summary execution.”

“TUC is even more disturbed that NDIC and CBN could venture to write off the amounts owed by those who engaged in insider credit abuses instead of recommending them for prosecutions.

We therefore demand that stern measures be taken not only recover the amounts misappropriated, but that all those found guilty should be prosecuted and appropriate sanctions imposed as deterrent against future abuses. The congress condemns Allstates Trust Bank plc and Fortune International Bank Plc and all banks indicted and demand the prosecution of all their executives.

Monies diverted to finance building projects under different business names if recovered would be enough to offset what is owed by its former chief executives. Also, we recommend that henceforth all government agencies at all levels should be discouraged from using commercial banks, rather they should maintain accounts with CBN to avoid abuses.

We also demand that banks customers and private individuals who were granted credit facilities but defaulted in repayment should be investigated and if found guilty equally face prosecution to restore public confidence in the nation’s banking sector. TUC also condemn in strongest terms the ongoing tussles between the outgoing Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sir Mike Okiro and the management of NDIC over an alleged N166million loan deal portended granted Sir Okiro by Lead Bank Ltd now liquidated.

Why did NDIC wait this long before revealing this to the nation. And why are crying wolf now. Is it to fight the imp back for charging nick management to court for alleged conspiracy and fraudulent deals with monies recovered from now liquidated Fortune Bank. NDIC stinks and therefore needs total cleansing and re-branding. We hope that Mike Okiro will come out quickly to state the true position of this matter, or be prepared to go the way of his predecessor Tarfa Balogun.”


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