By Innocent Anaba
Shareholders of Afribank Nigeria Plc have appealed to Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, to stop Central Bank of Nigeriaâ€™s Governor, Malam Lamido Sanusi, from completely destroying theirÂ life long investments in the bank.
They also want the bank and the executive management be given a minimum of 24 months within which to reposition the bank, failing which appropriate measures may be meted out by the CBN.
The shareholders, in an open letter by their counsel, Mr. Onyebuchi Aniakor, to Acting President Jonathan said â€œwe, Nigerian citizens and shareholders of Afribank Nigeria Plc humbly and most respectfully write to appeal for your Excellencyâ€™s kind and urgent intervention on the unrelenting and unceasing efforts of CBN and its Governor, Malam Sanusi to completely destroy our life long investments in Afribank Nigeria Plc.
â€œSince August 14, 2009 when, on the ground of alleged lack of sound corporate governance and depletion of capital, which have since been shown to be false and unfounded, the CBN swooped on the bank, completely disrupting it business, and our investments in the bank, while the bank itself has remained on a cliffhanger with the future utterly bleak.
â€œWe are highly concerned by the undisguised contempt and discrimination with which the bank and its shareholders have been treated and have continued to be made to suffer in the hands of the CBN and its Governor.
â€œAlso, even on the alleged examination report of the bank whilst only the sum of N11.5bn was said to have been recommended as fresh capital injection into the bank, not only was this not made available to the bank and/or its shareholders for them to consider and if deemed fit inject the said sum, the CBN, however, unilaterally claimed to have forcibly advanced the sum of N50bn to the bank through their self appointed executive management of the bank and on their own terms.
â€œWe consider it highly unfair and singularly exploitative that under the rule of law regime of this administration, an agency of the Federal Government could, at this point in our long search for self actualization and sustained national development, proceed to make nonsense of the lifelong investments and hard earned assets of its citizens.
â€œThe CBN and its Governor have been boasting that they have all the powers under Section 35 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act; and that this makes them unanswerable to anybody.
â€œBut, the 1999 constitution,Â which is the supreme law of the land is there. Neither the CBN nor its Governor can be higher than the constitution or the government duly elected under this constitution. And, under our laws and the constitution no citizen of this nation should be condemned or his properties and assets expropriated without giving him a hearing.
â€œWe humbly urge your Excellency to come to our rescue and intervene since, as enjoined under the constitution, the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Our prayers are that the executive management of the bank, namely, the Managing Director and Executive Directors appointed by the members of the bank who were forcibly and peremptorily removed by the CBN onÂ August 14, 2009 be restored back to office.
* That the bank and the executive management be given a minimum of 24 months within which to reposition the bank failing which appropriate measures may be meted out by the CBN.
* That the CBNâ€™s said special examination report on the bank be made available to the bank and its members for their consideration and if need be, implementation.