Polaris Bank Takes Over Skye Bank

Nigeria's Foreign Exchange Inflow Hits $91b In 2017 – CBN

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revoked the licence of Skye Bank Nigeria Plc.

CBN Governor and the Managing Director of the Nigeria Insurance Deposit Corporation (NDIC), Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this on Friday at a media briefing in Lagos.

He also announced the change in the name of Skye Bank to Polaris Bank which takes over the bank.

He said an injection of N786 billion has been made into the bank with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been directed to commence the sale process of the bank from Monday.

 

The revocation of Skye Bank’s operating licence follows the Central bank’s decision to pause its injection of funds processes in the lender.

The regulators maintain that customers deposits safe as management and members of staff will be retained under the new ownership structure.

Meanwhile, the share price of Skye Bank on Friday gained 4.05 percent at 77 kobo.

The stock is expected to be placed on suspension from Monday in accordance with bridge bank procedures.

Enugu Internal Revenue Board Seals Off Eight Banks

enugu-boardThe Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue has sealed off eight banks in the metropolis, for failure to remit about 1Billion Naira tax to the government.

The exercise which started on Monday morning at about 5:30am, affected Access Bank PLC, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Skye Bank, Union Bank, Unity Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank and Sterling Bank, in the metropolis.

The Chairman, Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Emeka Odo made this known to newsmen in Enugu, that the board obtained an order from the state High Court to seal the affected banks.

Mr Odo, said sealing of the banks which is the first phase of the enforcement exercise on the major companies and institutions will remain under lock and key, to ensure that they perform their civic obligations to the state government.

He however called on customers of the affected banks not to panic as the banks are expected to take necessary actions, to enable the government serve them better.

Patience Jonathan’s Loyalists Storm Court Again

patience jonathanA crowd of women gathered again on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos to show their loyalty to the former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan.

Mrs Jonathan through her lawyer had made an oral application before Justice Mohammed Idris, seeking the restrain of another judge of the court, Justice Babs Kuewunmi, from taking any steps on a disputed sum of $15.5 million which she claims belongs to her.

Her lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe, who moved the oral application, urged Justice Idris to stop Justice Kuewumi from making any order forfeiting the $15.5 million, which was frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to the Federal Government until the determination of an interlocutory application filed by the former first lady.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Justice Idris acknowledged a letter from the counsel representing Skye Bank, Lanre Ogunlesi, stating that he was indisposed and would not be available in court.

The judge said since Mr Ogunlesi requested for a new date to enable him appear in court, the hearing of Mrs Jonathan’s application could not go on.

But before the court could adjourn the case, the former first lady’s counsel urged the court to direct the EFCC not to tamper with the money, which is the subject matter of the case, pending the hearing and determination of the interlocutory application.

However, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to dismiss the application, submitting that the accounts in which the money was kept had long been frozen by the commission while the identified directors to the companies had pleaded guilty to an offence of conspiracy and money laundering in an ongoing criminal trial before Justice Kuewumi.

The lawyer further argued that it would be “extremely” prejudicial to the orders made by Justice Kuewumi if the court goes ahead to hear Mrs Jonathan’s application.

Justice Idris, in a short ruling, held that he would not go into the merits or demerits of the interlocutory application until it is moved and argued. He, however, ordered an accelerated hearing of the case.

The judge then adjourned the case till the December 7, for the hearing of the main application.

Mrs Jonathan is claiming the sum of $200 million against the EFCC, Skye Bank Plc, a former special assistant to former President Jonathan, Waripama-Owei Dudafa and four others for what she described as “the inconvenience and embarrassment she suffered as a result of the freezing of her accounts”.

The former first lady also wants the court to issue an order discharging the freezing order it placed on the $15.5 million. She also wants an order restraining the EFCC and its agent from further placing a freezing order on the said accounts warehousing the sum.

Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan’s Aide

Judges, Court, Judges, Court, Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan's AideThe trial of Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa, the former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, could not go on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, owing to the absence of the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Presiding judge, Justice Muhammad Idris, told the court that he received a letter from the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment.

In the letter, Mr Oyedepo asked the court to grant the adjournment to enable him attend to an appeal filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ricky Tarfa against the commission

Counsel to Mr Dudafa, Gboyega Oyewole, did not object to the request for an adjournment. He however informed the court that he was surprised that his client was not present in court.

Upon enquiry from the prison’s officials, Mr Oyewole said he was told that Dudafa is seriously sick.

He complained about the EFCC treatment of his client.

Justice Mohammed Idris has granted the prosecutor’s application and adjourned the matter till Thursday November 10, for the continuation of the defendants’ trial.

Dudafa and one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris on alleged 5.1 billion naira fraud.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

NBS Releases June Inflation Rate

Bureau Of Statistics, Inflation RateNigeria’s headline inflation increased by 16.5% in June from 15.6% in May, as the rate continues to increase for the fifth consecutive month.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the 0.9% increase is attributed to a rise in energy costs, imported food items and related products.

During the period, the food index rose at a faster rate of 1.4%, month-on-month due to increase in the prices of meat, vegetables and cereals.

While the urban index also jumped 11.9% in June, the corresponding rural index increased from 10.4% to 10.9%.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market’s benchmark index dropped by 25 basis points to 28,733.90, while the market capitalisation fell by 25 billion naira to 9.86 trillion naira against Friday’s figure, as the market reacts to the country’s June inflation data, and financial markets illiquidity.

However, investors’ appetite for stock remained moderate as a total of 315.5 million shares worth 1.72 billion naira were traded in 3,976 deals at the close of session.

Skye Bank topped the lead of the most actively traded stock with a whopping 138.2 million shares followed by FBN Holdings and UBA.

On the price table, Skye Bank was also the major price advancer in a list of ten, with a 10% increase to its share price, followed by Forte Oil and Nigerian Police Microfinance Bank.

And on the flip side, Law Union and Rock Insurance led 23 other decliners including Wapco and Arbico, down by 8.33%.

Nigerian Banks Are Healthy, CBN Reassures

CBN-Tokunbo-Martins-Nigerian-BanksThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has insisted that all Nigerian banks are healthy.

The Director, Banking Supervision Department of the CBN, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, made the declaration on Friday while reacting to the reports that some banks are in distress.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mrs Martins asked Nigerians to disregard any information that some banks were in distress, urging them to go about their normal transactions and avoid panic withdrawals.

She said that Nigeria “had a worse situation in 2009 where it wasn’t just a liquidity problem. It was liquidity and capital,” and that no depositor lost a penny.

“Right now all we have is one bank with a liquidity problem and CBN is playing its statutory role. There is absolutely no reason for depositors to panic,” Martins added.

Liquidity Support

The CBN official explained what she called ‘liquidity support’, which the apex bank is lending to Skye Bank.

“The liquidity support that we gave them is to wind down the long term assets. They become more liquid, they are able to pay us back, able to meet their short term obligation (and) then we get out of the way,” she said.

Mrs Martins explained that Skye Bank was okay in terms of capital, stressing that its asset quality was not too bad.

However, she said that the bank had been failing the liquidity prudential ratio for a while.

The CBN had in a statement signed by its acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, discredited reports that some banks in the country may have gone or may be going into distress.

It also disapproved claims that Skye Bank was suffering, assuring the general public of the safety of their deposits in any Nigerian bank.

No Nigerian Bank Is In Distress – CBN

CBN, BankThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has discredited reports that some banks in the country may have gone or may be going into distress.

The apex bank made the disclaimer on Wednesday in a statement signed by its acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor.

It also disapproved claims that Skye Bank was suffering, assuring the general public of the safety of their deposits in any Nigerian bank.

“The CBN wishes to reiterate in the strongest terms that these rumours and speculations are untrue and do not reflect the actual health of the individual banks and, indeed, the entire banking industry.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the infusion of a new Board and Management for Skye Bank PLC is a proactive regulatory action meant to ensure that the bank does not continue to fail in its relevant prudential ratios.

“Neither Skye Bank nor any other bank in the industry is in distress,” the apex bank maintained.

No Need For Panic Withdrawals

The CBN urged the general public to ignore speculations or rumours to the contrary, saying that they could only be the handiwork of mischief makers who do not mean well for the Nigerian banking system and its economy.

As the regulator of the industry, the bank reassured the banking and general public that there was no need for panic withdrawals from any bank.

“Going by both the CBN’s Examination Reports as well as analysis from market watchers, International Credit Rating Agencies and Development Finance Institutions, the Nigerian banking industry remains strong in spite of the global economic challenges emanating from the collapse of global commodity prices.

“We therefore urge the banking public to remain calm and go about their normal businesses without panic,” the apex bank stated.

New Skye Bank Chairman Promises Safety Of Deposits, Investments

Skye Bank, Muhammad Ahmad,The new Chairman of Skye Bank, Mr Muhammad Ahmad, has assured shareholders, customers and depositors of his commitment to preserve their investments and deposits.

In a statement released on Monday, Mr Ahmad explained that Skye Bank is well positioned to deepen the retail and commercial banking services in Nigeria.

According to Mr Ahmad, the immediate priorities of the board and the new management team is to leverage the huge investment in the enhanced branch network to improve stakeholder value in a sustainable manner.

He further gave the assurance that the support and backing of the Central Bank and other relevant stakeholders have been obtained in this regard.

CBN Sacks Skye Bank Board, Management

Skye BankThe Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday sacked the board and management team of troubled listed commercial lender, Skye Bank.

In a press briefing held on Monday in Lagos, the CBN dissolved Skye Bank’s board of directors, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer also resigned, while four non-executive directors were retained.

The new Chairman of Skye Bank is Mr Muhammad Ahmad, a former Central Bank official, a former head of the Pension Commission and former Chairman of First Bank Nigeria.

Coming in as the new CEO is Mr Tokunbo Abiru, a former executive director at First Bank Nigeria.

The financial regulator says, however that Skye Bank is not distressed but has fallen below the regulated capital adequacy ratio.

On Monday, Skye Bank shares fell 9.52% to 95 kobo as investors sold almost 11 million shares of the lender whose 2015 financial statements are yet to be released to the market.

EFCC Charges Jonathan’s Aide, Waripamo-Owei

EFCC, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, Goodluck JonathanThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 23-count charge against the Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei.

Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, who obtained a copy of the charge, said that Mr Waripamo-Owei was charged alongside one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, also known at various times as Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

The accused have been scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

N8b Currency Scam: EFCC To Arraign 6 CBN Bosses, 16 Others

EFCCThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to charge six top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 16 others to a Federal High Court on June 2, for a sum of 8b Naira currency fraud.

The commission said in a statement signed by its Head of Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, on Sunday that it would bring the executives before the court for their involvement in the theft and re-circulation of defaced and mutilated currencies.

According to the EFCC, “The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has concluded arrangement to arraign in court, five top executives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), implicated in a mega scam involving the theft and re-circulation of defaced and mutilated currencies.

“The suspects drawn from various business units of the apex bank are to be docked by the anti-graft agency before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, from Tuesday June 2, 2015 to Thursday June 4, 2015.

“They include Patience Okoro Eye (Abuja), Afolabi Olufemi (Lagos), Kolawole Babalola (Ibadan), Olaniran Muniru Adeola (Ibadan), Fatai Yusuf Adekunle (Head, Security, CBN, (Ibadan) and Ilori Adekunle Sunday, (Akure).”

The commission explained further that “the remaining 16 suspects were drawn from various commercial banks, who were found to have conspired with the CBN executives to swing the heist. All the suspects, who are currently in the custody of the EFCC, are now ruing the day they literally allowed greed and craze for materialism to becloud their sense of judgment and responsibility, when they elected to help themselves to tones of defaced Naira notes.

“Instead of carrying out the statutory instruction to destroy the currency, they substituted it with newspapers neatly cut to Naira sizes and proceeded to recycle the defaced and mutilated currency. The fraud is partly to blame for the failure of government monetary policy over the years as currency mop up exercises by the apex bank failed to check the inflationary pressure on the economy.”

“The lid on the scam which was widely suspected to have gone on unchecked for years, was blown on November 3, 2014 via a petition to the EFCC alleging that over N6, 575, 549, 370.00 (Six Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Five-Hundred and Forty-Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira) was cornered and discreetly recycled by light fingered top executives of the CBN at the Ibadan branch.

“The suspects, who were members of the Briquetting Panel, plotted their way to infamy on September 8, 2014, while carrying out a Briquetting exercise at the CBN Branch, Ibadan. In banking parlance, Briquetting is disintegration and destruction of counted and audited dirty notes. By this practice, depositor banks usually take mutilated notes to the CBN in exchange for fresh notes equivalent of the amount deposited.

“The depositor banks in this instance, are Zenith Bank, FCMB, Wema Bank, Access Bank, First Bank, Skye Bank, Ecobank and Sterling Bank. But while carrying out the assignment, the team were alleged to have found one of the currency boxes filled only with old newspapers rather than 20 bundles of N1000 notes. A similar case, according to investigation, had been discovered on September 22, 2014 when a box that was supposed to contain N500 notes to the tune of N5billion was filled with old newspapers,” the commission said.

The EFCC stressed further that “unlike in the past, this fraud could not be swept under the carpet, as a member of the Briquetting Panel from the Osogbo branch blew the lid on the illicit deal.

“In a statement, the informant stated that the exercise was designed to last between August 4 and 8, 2014. The 35-year-old, however, stated that she discovered a strange ‘sight’ while opening the third box on the second day of the exercise. It was a discovery that beat her ken.

“A five count charge awaits the suspects as they prepare to face the wrath of the law.”