By Abdulwahab Abdulah
LAGOS â€” FORMER Managing Director of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Bartholomew Ebong, his Finbank counterpart, Mr Okey Nwosu, Dr Raymond Obieri, Chairman, Intercontinental Bank Plc and Hyacinth Enuha, a non-executive director of Intercontinental Bank were, yesterday, released by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after meeting their bail conditions.
However, Intercontinental Bank Plc, maintained, yesterday, that Dr Raymond Obieri, remains its Chairman, while the new Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Mahmoud Lai Alabi, who assumed office last week said the bank is set to recover a total N200 billion owed it within the next three months
Ebong, Obieri, Nwosu, Enuha released
Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, former MD of Oceanic Bank Plc, was earlier released on Wednesday after perfecting her bail conditions.
EFCC spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the release of the quartet to their families.
Babafemi revealed that Ebongâ€™s sureties are Ita Enang and Eseme E Sunday, of the House of Representatives.
The Bank chiefs who were recently sacked by the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, were arrested by the EFCC, which later charged them to court on different charges bordering on economic sabotage, financial recklessness and threat to the economic health of the nation among others.
Intercontinental confirms Obieriâ€™s position
Meanwhile, a statement purportedly released by Intercontinental Bank yesterday through its Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Emeka Anaeto, said Dr. Raymond Obieri remains the Chairman of the bankâ€™s board.
According to the bank, â€œWe wish to draw your attention to the series of publications which misrepresented the current status of the members of our Board of Directors, including the Chairman, Dr Raymond Obieri.
â€œFollowing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pronouncement of August 14, 2009 on Intercontinental Bank and others, the status of the Chairman and Non-Executive directors remains unchanged as they were not affected by the pronouncement. In this connection, we wish to state that Dr Raymond Obieri remains the Chairman of the Board while other non-executive directors remain members of the Board.
â€œThis clarification becomes necessary in view of calls, and enquiries from customers and other stakeholders who inquired about the true position of the Board consequent upon the misrepresentations in the press.â€
…to recover N200bn â€” Alabi
In an interview with Reuters, new Group Managing Director of the bank Mr. Mahmoud Alabi, said the bank is set to recover a total N200 billion within the next three months.
He said â€œI think itâ€™s unfortunate that Intercontinental has found itself in this position, but by and large, it is a good bank. What actually happened was the management foray into margin loans and products. But the bank is now in a good position, given the treatment it has given to these loans now.
The institution is almost on a clear path to reap, to transform and utilise all the competences like brand, service and strength in the market place.â€
On how the bank would recover its debts, Alabi said â€œwhoever owes Intercontinental Bank and has not paid us, we would give them neither peace nor sleep. We believe that with the approach we have adopted, we can reasonably collect not less than N200 billion within the next three months. In fact, we are hoping we can double that. And of course, make sure that our services are improved.â€
He confirmed that the bank has recovered over N30 billion so far and hopes to improve the figures in the next few weeks.â€