By Providence Obuh
F ollowing the faceoff between Federal Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN that led to the sanction of Stanbic IBTC over its audited accounts for 2013 and 2014 and suspension of the financial reporting numbers of the bank’s Chairman, Mr. Atedo Peterside, and its Chief Executive, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, Shareholder Activist, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, expressed concern stating that shareholders were misled by the information made available by FRCN.
Olatokunbo said, “Regulatory-Agencies were the parameter by which to measure the country’s institutions under their supervision; therefore they can’t afford to be misled/misrepresented nor radicalised their regulatory-functions that would create confusion in the investing-public and the economy.
The current state of the nation’s economy required diligence, vision and serious determination of suppose, which and should not accommodate costly outbursts of radicalism.
I therefore humbly call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to probe the activities of FRCN, that led to the recent sanction of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC in which several investors were misled and have suffered loses; while FRCN should be reorganised as a regulatory agency of repute.
l sincerely thank the CBN for its diligence on the affairs and for its standing up when it matter most on the side of justice and good governance as a regulator of repute.
When the story came out I was interviewed by one of the national papers and when facts started unfolding and I was reading a lot of articles in the papers where they faulted the opinion of FRCN and the CBN also forwarded their opinion and I read so many articles, it looks as if they did not do the due diligence before they caused confusion and misled a lot of people to react one way or the other which led to the probing and if they can come out with such allegation without due diligence, it is wrong. I am not the only one they misled, a lot of people are at a cross roads with FRCN because they just believe they have power and the way they are using is not the way regulatory authority exercise their powers. So if they have misled me and a lot of people, then something has to be done before they do more harm to the economy.
Really l have read a lot on the issues leading to the suspension and did some reading again on past arguments and I must confess to you that l had wished or hoped that the allegations against IBTC Holdings might not be true because if they were to be true, it might lead to some people going to jail but it looks as if my prediction might be wrong.
The allegations under investigation were huge and for it to have been on for years undetected, then makes it criminal and as far as l could place the allegations, they were financial-crimes against our nation’s economy, while l hope the investigation would absolve the accused.
l like to suggest that the investigation should look further into other transactions including “the shares merger of the IBTC Holdings” which had been bitter pills in the mouths of IBTC Holdings minority-shareholders.
IFRS was introduced into our system due to some lapses in our financial reporting and the sad and terrible banking-Saga of 2008/9 and surprisingly an institution like IBTC Holdings could still dance round it and beat the eagle-eyes of the regulators to it, really that was what is known as Smooth and Perfect Operator and if the allegations were proven, it must be sanctioned if found to be true.
I am of the opinion that when FRC completed its investigation and finds IBTC Holdings guilty, it should work with other banking regulators, in-order to invite the EFCC into the matter; so that it will serve as a deterrent to other smooth and perfect operators. My sincere appreciation goes to those that brought the issue to the attention of the regulatory authorities.”