The Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said “assets belonging to Erastus Akingbola, the former Intercontinental Bank chief, will be put on sale to recover the N164 billion Mr. Akingbola has been ordered by a UK court to refund.”
Mr. Sanusi said this in London on Wednesday where he attended the Nigeria Business and Investment Summit. The remarks were not made as part of the meeting.
“We have a ruling for N164 billion against Akingbola. This means that we can sell all the assets he has in the world until we recover the money. So if he doesn’t have that fund to be refunded, we will sell everything he has to get that,” Sanusi said.
The London court ruling, delivered on Tuesday as the climax of a long-running case, found the former Intercontinental Bank plc, now Access Bank, guilty of mandating a fraudulent scheme of the bank buying its own shares, leading to heavy losses.
The judge, Justice Burton, held that the share fraud contributed significantly to the collapse of Intercontinental bank, which was acquired early 2012 by Access Bank.
The judge ordered that the former bank chief refund N164 billion, being the proceeds of the share deal.
Mr. Akingbola has said he was disappointed by the ruling and denied the court ordered he should make payment. He said in a statement he was innocent of the charges, and promised to appeal the judgment.
Reacting to the judgment, Mr. Sanusi said the verdict would send signals to other bank chief executives that depositors’ funds should not be tampered with.