Former CEO Bank Of Cyprus Jailed For Market Manipulation

A Cypriot court on Friday jailed a former CEO of Bank of Cyprus after he was found guilty of market manipulation by deceiving shareholders in the lead-up to a banking system meltdown in 2013.

Andreas Eliades was found guilty in December of deceiving shareholders on the actual capital shortfall of BoC, the Mediterranean island’s biggest bank, at an annual general meeting in June 2012.

The case is the first in a state probe into the causes of the crash, which left several top Cypriot banks insolvent and forced it to seek an unprecedented international bailout.

The Nicosia criminal court found that Eliades had “knowingly misled” shareholders, who had the right to be properly informed.

“At the time he did not want to give the true picture,” their verdict read.

More serious charges of collusion and concealing data were dropped during the trial, and four other former senior officials were acquitted.

Bank of Cyprus was fined 120,000 euros for failing to take the necessary action to give a clear picture of the bank’s finances which could have affected its share price.

Cyprus is recovering from the financial crisis which forced it to negotiate a harsh bailout with international creditors in 2013.

In March 2013, Cyprus obtained a 10 billion euro loan from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to bail out its troubled economy and oversized banking system.

Under the terms of the deal, the government had to close the island’s second-largest bank, Laiki, and impose a 47.5-percent haircut on BoC deposits above 100,000 euros.

According to data from the IMF and the country’s central bank, a total of 8 billion euros was wiped out as part of the bailout agreed in 2013.

AFP

Arik Air Takeover: Court Fixes May 15 For Ruling

Arik Air Takeover: Court Fixes May 15 For RulingThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed for May 15, its ruling on two preliminary objections arising from the takeover of Arik Air Limited by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

The Corporation had on February 8, 2017 announced that it had taken over Arik Air Limited.

AMCON said the step was taken to save the airline from collapse and in the best interest of the general public, workers, creditors and other interest groups in the aviation sector.

A legal practitioner, Mr Oluseye Opasanya, was then appointed as the Receiver Manager of Arik Air Limited, following its takeover by AMCON.

By an ex parte application on February 8, AMCON secured an injunction restraining the airline’s “shareholders, directors, creditors, managers, officers, employees, servants, consultants, agents, representatives (and) privies” from interfering with Mr Opasanya’s power to manage Arik Air.

However, four persons who were aggrieved by the court order – Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide, Chris Ndule, Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide and Sangowawa Olubiyi – filed a preliminary objection through their lawyer, Mr Babajide Koku.

They accused Mr Opasanya and the lawyer representing AMCON, Professor Koyinsola Ajayi, of engaging in professional misconduct and urged the court to void all the processes so far filed by Professor Ajayi on behalf of the Corporation and Mr Opasanya.

The grounds of their objection was that Ajayi and Opasanya are both lawyers practising in the law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi LP.

Mr Koku argued that by virtue of Rule 17 of Professional Conduct of Legal Practitioners 2007, neither Ajayi nor any other lawyer from the law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi LP could appear in a case where Opasanya was a plaintiff.

Opposing the preliminary objection, Ajayi stated that there was a distinction between Opasanya and the law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi LP where Opasanya works, and that there was no law stopping anyone from the law firm from representing Opasanya.

He also filed a preliminary objection challenging the locus standi of Koku’s clients to file the preliminary objection.

Professor Ajayi argued that they were not parties in the suit in question which AMCON and Opasanya filed against Arik Air and the Inspector General of Police.

He described them as interlopers who should not be heard and urged Justice Mohammed Idris who is hearing the case to dismiss the preliminary objection by Koku’s clients.

After hearing both preliminary objections on Friday, Justice Idris adjourned till May 15, 2017 for his ruling.

Senate Committee Investigates Cecilia Ibru’s Siezed Assets

senateThe Senate has begun investigating an allegation made by stakeholders that the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) failed to remit funds and assets of former Managing Director of the Defunct Oceanic Bank, Mrs Cecilia Ibru to shareholders, as well as Eco Bank, the company that took over Oceanic Bank

At an investigative hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, the committee observed that four years after entering into a plea bargain with the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mrs Cecilia Ibru is yet to remit N16.1 million to AMCON.

However, the Acting Managing Director of AMCON, Mrs Foluke Dosunmu said AMCON had not taken up Mrs Ibru over the N16.1 billion, because it had not ascertained her unwillingness to pay it, saying once it is confirmed that she’s not ready to pay, the corporation would take her back to court.

The Acting MD Also maintained that AMCON does not owe the Oceanic or Eco Bank.

The Senate Committee also faulted AMCON over its failure to follow due procedures in the sales of some recovered properties, as they revealed how the corporation had failed to advertise the property before embarking on sales as required by the rules governing sales of government property.

The Senate Committee, headed by Senator Victor Lar had entertained a petition said to have been filed by a Nigerian whose name was not disclosed, said that the sale of the properties by (AMCON) were questionable.

The seized assets, worth N569 billion, were taken over by the Federal Government, following a plea bargain entered into by Mrs Ibru. The committee said that the mode of disposal of the assets located within and outside Nigeria was shrouded in secrecy.

Senator Victor Lar said on Monday that Ibru had pleaded guilty, during the course of her prosecution and entered into a plea bargain with the government, while handing over assets allegedly bought with depositor’s funds.