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Savannah Bank resumes operations

ABUJA—DEPOSITORS of Savannah Bank Plc would soon have their accounts activated as the bank, yesterday, reached final arrangements to resume operations, after more than eight years of waiting.
The bank’s spokesman, Mr. Obi Adiele, told newsmen that the bank which has new investors would now be chaired by Mr. Richard Abraham, an international banker.

The final take-off would, however, happen after the Central Bank of Nigeria has verified the funds being brought into the bank from abroad.

Adiele said: “We also know that IT will have to play a major role and Central Bank has to verify the funds they are bringing in to confirm that the funds are available.

”The people that are rolling out the IT to activate the branches, we will be able to say these are the vendors who are bringing these things in for the Central Bank to confirm that they are satisfied with them.”

He said the bank has concluded discussions with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation  and was now undertaking joint-audit of its assets in all the branches.

Adiele, who said that full banking operations would commence as soon as the audit and the verification of depositors’ list were completed, noted that depositors would have the full value of their deposits.

According to him, each of them would have his or her account reactivated and encouraged to remain with the bank, which he explained would offer very attractive products as part of its re-branding.
The banking licence of Savannah Bank was revoked by the CBN on 15 February, 2002, precipitating a long legal battle between its owners, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC.
The board led by former Governor of Old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo dragged the regulators before a Federal High Court, Abuja, challenging the revocation of the licence and the take over of the bank by the NDIC with a view to liquidating it.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, in a judgment delivered on 20 October, 2006, upheld the action of the CBN. The SBN, however, appealed the judgment. On 5 February, 2009, the Court of Appeal delivered judgment in the appeal filed by Savannah Bank, in which it upturned the decision of the lower court.


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