- In a memo signed by the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, on Wednesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appoints new executives to oversee the affairs of Union Bank of Nigeria, Keystone Bank, and Polaris Bank with immediate effect.
The newly appointed executives are:
- Union Bank
Yetunde Oni — Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer
Mannir Ubali Ringim — Executive Director
- Keystone Bank
Hassan Imam — Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer
Chioma A. Mang — Executive Director
- Polaris Bank
Lawal Mudathir Omokayode Akintola — Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer
Chris Onyeka Ofikulu — Executive Director
This move follows the dissolution of the board and management of these banks over alleged violations of some sections of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020.
The alleged infractions included regulatory non-compliance, corporate governance failure, disregard for the conditions of their licences, and involvement in activities that pose a threat to financial stability.
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The Acting Director stated that the CBN only had to exercise its regulatory powers after the three banks and their boards failed to comply with Section 12(c), (f), (g), and (h).
This dissolution came three weeks after Jim Obazee, a special investigator on the CBN and related entities, tendered his final report to Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Recall that on July 28, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu appointed Obazee as a Special Investigator to investigate the CBN and related entities, directing him to set up a team and work with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to carry out the assignment.
On December 9, 2023, he submitted a final report to the President, wherein he identified multiple “chargeable offences” by the former CBN Governor Godwin Emiefele and other players, including acquiring these banks using fronts. Obazee subsequently recommended that FG take over the banks, strengthen them, and sell them off.
The removal of the boards and management of these three banks is reportedly part of the report's recommendation.
Titan Bank reportedly acquired Union Bank in a process that the special investigator revealed was suspicious. The CBN, however, didn’t clarify how the dissolution might affect Titan Bank.
In an attempt to prevent panic withdrawals that are typical in situations like this, the apex bank assured the public, specifically customers of these three banks, of the security and safety of their monies.