By Emman Ovuakporie,Â Michael EBOH
SACKED Chief Execu- tive Officers, CEOs, of the five banks the Central Bank Of Nigeria, CBN, moved in on recently have allegedly resorted to frenzied prayer sessions in their EFCC detention centres, calling on God to intervene and rescue them from their ordeal..
Despite their appeal to God, there seems to be no respite in sight for them because the crime bursting outfit is planning to invoke section 7 of the Act that setÂ it up to make life more difficult for VIP detainees.
Section 7 of the EFCC Act gives special powers to the Commission:â€™ to cause investigation to be conducted into the properties of any person if it appears to the commission that the persons life style and extent of the properties are not justified by his income â€˜
A reliable insider told Saturday Vanguard that the EFCC is combing foreign countries where it suspects theÂ bank chiefs have interest to see if it can lay its hands on some of their property abroad.
Another source of concern to the troubled bankers is the stiff bail conditions imposed by the court before they could be granted bail. The bail concern is one of the reasons the high brow detainees have been seeking Gods intervention in their lives.
The bail condition which simply says a surety must have a choice house on the island in Lagos or Maitama or Asokoro or better still N1billion appears to be chicken change considering the amount that was borrowed out by the banks which is a whooping N749billion only.
A source however confirmed to Saturday Vanguard that none among the sixteen has met the conditions given by the court as at Thursday.
The source further gave details with which customised rooms are given to executive detainees asâ€the age and state of health of the detainee as at when he or she was arrested because as you know the court has not found them guilty so we have to treat them with kid gloves until the court finally make a declaration on them.â€
â€œThey all haveÂ Â access to their spouses and relations during the visiting hours but no access to telecommunications as no detainee is above the law they are all equal though some are in special rooms courtesy of the fact that they were highly placed members of the society before now. â€œMost of them are downcast
â€œAs for food, when family members bring food they are made to eat out of it first before it is given to the detainee and the detainee is given the option of selecting the person that would bring the food from home.â€
The source further explained that from all indications the detainees may stay a little longer as the bail conditions are too stiff to be easily met â€œ by them as most of them are already complaining that the conditions do no have a human face at all.â€
It would be recalled that three Fridays ago the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] had slammed 5 troubled banks for having so much non-performing loans, alleged insider trading and fraudulent practices in clear violation of banking laws in Nigeria.
Another bank Executive Director Mr Samuel Oyinlola was arrested on Thursday bringing the total number of bank directors in the cutody of EFCC to seventeen super executives.
BANK CRISIS: Sanusi jets to China
Following the crisis in the Nigerian banking sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is on its way to China to meet with investors in that country on the state of Nigerian banks and on the need to ensure continuous partnership with the banks.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Professor (Mrs.) Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, who made this disclosure in Lagos, after her meeting with the Governor of the CBN, Friday, also allayed fears of operators in the capital market, disclosing that the CBN is not yet prepared to go after stockbroking firms whose names were mentioned among the debtors of the five troubled banks.
She debunked claims that the CBN is looking for foreigners to buy over the banks, noting that the trip to China is not intended to sell the banks to the Chinese.
She noted that the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Sanusi Lamido and other officials will be traveling to China this weekend or Monday, to hold a town hall meeting with Chinese investors, to assure them the banks are safe and sound, brief them on recent developments in the banking sector and also seek their partnership in growing the countryâ€™s banking sector.
She said, â€œThe CBN Governor will be going to China to meet with investors, businessmen and partners of Nigerian banks in that country on development in the Nigerian banking sector. The Governor which is expected to leave this weekend or Monday, might not be going with the new Chief Executives of the five banks and is going to hold meetings with the Chinese for one week.
The reason is because most of the banks in Nigeria have correspondent banking relationship with banks in China, hence, it is necessary to allay their fears on situation in the country. The trip, I must mention, is not a ploy to sell the banks to the Chinese or other foreign investors. â€
On the issue of stockbrokers indebted to the five troubled banks, she disclosed that the CBN is not considering arresting the brokers yet, because it is aware of the workings of margin loans, a major factor which led to the indebtedness of the brokers.
She further stated that the Governor of the CBN and the new helmsmen of the five banks, intends to parley with the capital market community on its return from its China, noting that the meeting will pave a way for consultations on how to address the issue of stockbrokersâ€™ indebtedness to the banks, while the banks will inform the market of the plans for the banks in this trying times.