By Adeleke Adeseri, News Editor, Innocent Anaba & Michael Eboh
LAGOSâ€”While the 16 bank chiefs, sacked two weeks ago by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and no fewer than 68 of their debtors continue to cool their heels either in the agencyâ€™s custody or in Ikoyi prisons, strong indications emerged that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have concluded plans to seize the assets of the detainees.
According to the agencyâ€™s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, â€œbefore leaving for Abuja, yesterday, the Chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri instructed that the operatives should go after the assets of those concerned towards establishing a link between their income, assets and depositorsâ€™ funds.
â€œIf their incomes do not justify such assets, then they will be forfeited to make up for the depositorsâ€™ funds
â€œParticularly we are tracing those funds taken outside the country towards establishing any wrong doing against the former CEOs,â€ he said.
On the issue of fresh arrests, Babafemi said: â€œAll I want to say is that more debtors are coming in and out, but by tomorrow(today) the agency will be able to give an official update.â€
He also told Vanguard that the commission is still on the trail of Mr Erastus Akingbola, the former Vice-Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Bank.
More charges against CEOs
Meanwhile, theÂ EFCC says it is preparing more charges against the sacked bank CEOs after it arraigned them on Monday in Lagos.
A lawyer to the EFCC, Mr. Godwin Obla, gave the indication in Lagos, yesterday.
The CEOs are facing a 131-count-charge, covering reckless granting of loan facilities, failure to ensure correctness of returns to CBN and sharesâ€™ manipulation.
Also arraigned were seven directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc, including its Chairman, Raymond Obieri, and two other directors of Union Bank Plc.
Obla said: â€œWhat I can assure you is that this is just the beginning. The charges may just be a scratch. I can assure you that more charges are going to come as the trial progresses.â€
The counsel also said more people would be prosecuted in connection with the â€œnon-performing loansâ€ given out by the banks.
NSE lifts suspension on troubled banks
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Tuesday, lifted the full suspension placed on the five banks whose Managing Directors and Executive Directors were sacked CBN.
The NSE, had two weeks ago, placed the shares of the banks on full suspension, immediately the sack of the Managements of the banks were announced by CBN to protect investors. The banks include:Â Afribank Nigeria Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc, FinBank Plc and Union Bank Nigeria Plc.
The Director-General of the NSE, Professor (Mrs.) Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke had last week gave hints on a possible lifting of the suspension, hinging the planned lifting on the expiration of the two weeks.
Following resumption of trading in the shares of the troubled banks, three of the banks – Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Oceanic Bank International Plc and FinBank Plc recorded share price losses, with some of them recording the maximum five percent share price dip.
Shares of Union Bank which opened at N12.60 per share, dropped by five per cent or N0.63 to close at N11.97 per share, Oceanic Bank recorded a share price loss of N0.24 to close at N4.70 per share and FinBank Plc shed N0.07 to close at N1.48 per share.
The share price of Intercontinental Bank Plc and Afribank Nigeria Plc were unmoved because of the fact that the minimum number of units required to make market in shares were not achieved, as less than 50,000 units of their shares were traded.
However, light trading was recorded in the shares of the five banks. Afribank Nigeria Plc recorded a turnover of 5,878 shares valued at N29.15 million in 11 deals, FinBank Plc traded 2.14 million shares valued at N3.16 million in 19 deals and Intercontinental Bank Plc exchanged 23,450 shares valued at N0.15 million in five deals.
Oceanic Bank International Plc recorded a turnover of 443,335 shares valued at N2.08 million in 15 deals and Union Bank Nigeria Plc recorded 188,839 shares valued at N2.26 million in 49 deals.
CBN withdraws N55.11bn fromÂ circulation
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn a total N55.11 billion from the economy.
The CBN withdrew the money through the sale of tenor bill worth N25 billion from the Open Market Operation (OMO) and N35.11 billion on bills at the Primary Market Auction (PMA) respectively
The CBNâ€™s weekly report made available yesterdayÂ in Lagos, showed that the CBN met the demands of the investors.
At the OMO segment, last Wednesday, the CBN sold 26-day tenor bills worth N5 billion and 29-day tenor bills worth N5 billion respectively.
The following day, the apex bank sold 30-day tenor bills worth N15 billion and made a repayment of same amount to investors. It also made a repayment of N8 billion to investors on 30-day tenor bills.
The bid rates and issue rates for the entire bid sold stood at 9.00 per cent respectively.
For all the four bills, bidders got all that they quoted for and they are expected to mature on Sept. 21, 24, 28 and 27, 2009 respectively.