Naira Scarcity: ICPC Arrests Bank Officials Over Alleged Sabotage

The commission says the arrests are in continuation of its clampdown on elements frustrating efforts to make the redesigned naira notes available to members of the public.


A photo combination of the ICPC logo and new naira notes

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has arrested officials of two commercial banks in Abuja and Osun State for alleged sabotage as the scarcity of new naira notes lingers.

A statement by the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, said the arrests were in continuation of its clampdown on elements frustrating efforts to make the redesigned naira notes available to members of the public.

Ogugua said an Abuja-based bank official was taken into custody for her “deliberate refusal” to upload cash into her branch’s automated teller machines (ATMs), though the cash was said to have been available and people were queuing at the ATMs.

Findings by the ICPC operatives further indicated that the branch either willfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with cash.

READ ALSO: Buhari Asks For Seven Days For A Major Decision On Currency Redesign

“Against this backdrop, the ICPC team compelled the bank to load the ATMs with the redesigned Naira notes and ensured that they were all dispensing before arresting the culprit,” the statement reads in part.

“Investigations are still ongoing, and the Commission will take appropriate actions as soon as they are concluded.”

In a related development, the ICPC Compliance Team in Oshogbo busted a bank in Osogbo, Osun State where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers unremoved, preventing the cash from being dispensed.

The team, therefore, directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly. The Operation Manager of the bank was arrested and taken in for questioning.

Similarly, seven point-of-sale (PoS) operators and a security guard were arrested in Osun for charging exorbitant commissions for cash.

See the full statement below:

News Release

Redesigned Naira Notes: ICPC arrests Bank Officials over Sabotage

In continuation of its clampdown at elements frustrating efforts in making the redesigned Naira notes available to members of the public, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has arrested an official of one of the commercial banks for alleged sabotage.

The bank official, who is the Branch Service Head of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Deidei Branch, Abuja, was taken into custody for her deliberate refusal to upload cash into the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) even when the cash was available, and people were queuing at the ATMs.

When the ICPC monitoring team stormed the bank at about 1:30 pm to ensure compliance, and demanded explanation as to why all the ATMs were not dispensing cash, it was informed by the branch’s Head of Operations that the bank just got delivery of the cash.

However, facts available to the ICPC operatives indicated that the branch took delivery of the cash around 11:58 am and either willfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with the cash.

Against this backdrop, the ICPC team compelled the bank to load the ATMs with the redesigned Naira notes and ensured that they were all dispensing before arresting the culprit.

Investigations are still ongoing, and the Commission will take appropriate actions as soon they are concluded.

In a related development, the ICPC Compliance Team in Oshogbo has busted an FCMB in Osogbo, Osun State where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers un-removed, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed. The Team therefore directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly.

However, when a follow-up visit was undertaken the following day to ascertain the level of compliance, the Team discovered that one of the ATMs was still loaded with the wrappers un-removed.

The Operation Manager of the Bank was arrested and taken in for questioning.

Similarly, seven Point of Sale (POS) operators as well as a security guard were arrested during the ongoing exercise in Osun State for charging exorbitant commissions for cash. Investigations however, revealed that they got the money from Filling Stations that collect new notes from fuel buyers, but they then resell the cash to the public at exorbitant rates.

The arrested persons are helping the Commission with information to assist investigations and bust any syndicates involved in the hoarding or sales of the redesigned notes.

Signed: Mrs. Azuka Ogugua