Union Bank Reacts To EFCC’s Seizure Of $2.8m, Says Cash Transfer A ‘Legitimate’ Operation

 

Union Bank has reacted to the seizure of $2.8 million by the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) at the Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu State.

The EFCC had intercepted the cash at the Enugu airport on Friday from two people, it said were suspected money launderers.

According to the anti-graft agency, the suspects, namely Ighoh Augustine and Ezekwe Emmanuel, allegedly working for a company: Bankers Warehouse, were nabbed based on intelligence report.

It also stated that the suspects confessed to being in the business of conveying cash for “some notable banks”, for over six years and were in the process of doing same for Union Bank Plc, when they were caught.

But in a series of tweets on Friday evening, the bank defended the movement of cash across states, describing it as a legitimate process for all banks.

It also explained that the Bankers Warehouse, is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide Cash-in-Transit services.

The bank, therefore, criticized the anti-graft agency for releasing a statement without “completing investigations”.

Read Also: Again, EFCC Discovers Over $2m At Airport

 

Ikoyi Cash: Union Bank Challenges Final Forfeiture Of Osborne Towers Apartment

 

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has challenged the permanent forfeiture of a property known as Flat 7b No 16, Osborne Road Ikoyi, Lagos to the Federal Government.

The property was the same one linked to the dismissed Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke where the EFCC recovered the sums of $43,449,947.00, €27,800 and N23,218,000.00 on the 12th of April, 2017.

At the Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos on Thursday, Union Bank laid claims to the flat and the building which it says came into its possession following a mortgage agreement between the bank, the original owner of the property, former PDP Chairman, Adamu Muazu and Tripple A Properties Investment Ltd.

Tripple A which is believed to be owned by Mr Muazu had allegedly used the property to secure a loan from the Union Bank sometime in 2011.

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.

Fitch Ratings Reviews Nigerian Banks’ Support Rating

Fitch Ratings, First Bank, seven energyFitch Ratings has revised down the Support Rating Floors (SRF) of 10 Nigerian banks to ‘no floor’ and downgraded nine banks’ Support Ratings (SR) to ‘5’ following a reassessment of potential sovereign support for the banking sector.

As a consequence, the long-term issuer default ratings of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, FBN Holdings PLC, Diamond Bank PLC, Fidelity Bank PLC, First City Monument Bank Limited and Union Bank of Nigeria PLC are downgraded to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’, in line with their stand-alone creditworthiness as defined by their viability ratings.

The agency has affirmed the long-term IDRS of Zenith Bank PLC, Guaranty Trust Bank PLC, Access Bank PLC, United Bank for Africa PLC, Wema Bank PLC and Bank of Industry (BOI).

The downgrade of the nine banks’ SRS and the revision of 10 banks’  SRFs to ‘no floor’ reflects Fitch’s view that senior creditors can no longer rely on receiving full and timely extraordinary support from the Nigerian sovereign if any of the banks become non-viable.

Court Orders Bank To Appoint Accountant In Case Of AMCON Vs. Jimoh Ibrahim

AMCON, Asset Management, Jimoh Ibrahim, Union BankA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered Union Bank of Nigeria to nominate a chartered accountant within seven days for the purpose of carrying out a forensic audit of statement of accounts on the alleged 50 billion Naira loan allegedly granted to businessman, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim by the bank.

The accountant will work with two other accounting firms nominated by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Mr Jimoh Ibrahim.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on Monday, lawyer to AMCON, Yusuf Ali (SAN), informed the court that AMCON has already nominated KPMG.

Counsel to the defendants, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) also stated that in compliance with the directive of the court, the defendants appointed the accounting firm of Adewale Folowosele & Associates.

The court has also ordered that the joint forensic audit is to be conducted by the three chartered accountant firms within a month at the Union Bank headquarters.

The matter has been adjourned till September 28 for a report of progress or settlement.

Justice Abdulazeez Anka had on July 11 discharged an interim order granted to AMCON to take over some assets belonging to Mr Jimoh Ibrahim.

This was after the business man had submitted that the exparte order was obtained via suppression and misrepresentation of material facts by the plaintiff (AMCON) and the order was obtained in bad faith against persons who are not parties to the suit.

The applicants had in a 24-paragraph affidavit in support of their application, deposed to by one Gbenga Onilude, a litigation officer, stated that none of the properties attached in the exparte order belong to any of the defendants; NICON Investment Limited, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Limited and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim.

Silverbird In Negotiation With AMCON To Restore Properties Seized

SILVERBIRD, AMCONThe Management of the Silverbird Group says negotiations are on course with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over the seizure of some of its properties.

The Group Vice President of Silverbird Group, Guy Murray–Bruce, said this on Thursday in reaction to the assets of three companies belonging to the group taken over by AMCON.

He described the whole situation as a business arrangement gone south, vowing that their properties would be restored.

AMCON had alleged that the assets were being seized following the failure of the company to settle an 11 billion Naira loan owed Union Bank and acquired by the corporation.

Freezing Of Asset: Jimoh Ibrahim Asks AMCON To Jettison Plan

court-gavelBusiness Man, Jimoh Ibrahim, has asked the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to jettison an interim order of injunction it had obtained to freeze some of his assets.

In a statement sent to Channels Television in reaction to the plan to freeze his assets, the business man said: “AMCON is aware that we keep a deposit of 86 billion Naira or £172 million with Union Bank and AMCON is aware that application to collect the money from Union Bank is pending before an Ikeja High Court.

“All of these facts, it has not disclosed to an innocent Federal High Court.

“Union Bank lost the case and went for an appeal only to reappear in the guise of AMCON loan acquisition deal not known to the new court AMCON approached for an injunction”.

He further stressed that “any action taken by the bank and AMCON before the appeal is determined amounts to an abuse of court process”.

Mr Ibrahim also alleged that asset management company had gone ahead to execute the interim order even when the Judge had not signed the execution writ.

According to him, his company has filed an application to discharge the interim order.

SERAP Commends Presidency On Declaration Of Assets

serap on assets declarationA Civil Society Organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has said that the declaration of assets by Nigeria’s President and his Vice has set the tone for a culture of transparency in governance.

The rights group’s statement is coming a day after President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo made a public declaration of their assets,development that have been trailed by series of reactions.

A statement by SERAP lauds the President and his Vice for the gesture, saying they have demonstrated that transparency in governance is not a mirage.

SERAP said it hoped that “this public declaration of assets by the President and the Vice President would bring about the needed transformation in the institutional framework for fighting corruption in Nigeria”.

The civil rights group also asked the President to ensure that other top government officials and the ministers to be appointed would take a cue from him.

According to a statement released by the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, President Buhari had less than N30 million to his name. He also had only one bank account, with the Union Bank.

It also went ahead to say that the “Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who had been a successful lawyer before his foray into politics declared a bank balance of about 94 million Naira and 900,000 United States Dollars in his bank accounts”.

Mark Mentors Win DSTV Basketball League

Mark Mentors Mark Mentors on Friday defeated Savannah Conference leaders, Kano Pillars, 79-66 to win the 2015 DSTV Premier Basketball League inside the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.

With the result, Mark Mentors will now represent Nigeria in the FIBA-Africa Club Champions Cup as winner of the DSTV sponsored league.

Despite the last quarter of the game ending in favour of Kano Pillars, the effort was not good enough to help them retain the title they won last year at the same venue.

Kano Pillars had defeated Mark Mentors to win the title in 2014.

Mark Mentors, on their way to the 2015 final, beat Union Bank 68-53 in the semi-final while Pillars reached the finals after surviving a tough contest against Gombe Bulls in a 67-63 win.

Gombe Bulls won the third place game beating home side, Union Bank of Lagos, 63-53 points.

DSTV Basketball League: Mark Mentors, Kano Pillars To Meet In Final

mark-mentorsMark Mentors players are aiming to win the championship title as they face defending champions, Kano Pillars in the final of the DSTV Premier Basketball League on Friday, August 14.

Captain Stanley Gumut, who led all scorers with 22 points to help Mark Mentors beat Union Bank 68-53 in the semi-final, said only the title is good enough for the team.

Having lost to Pillars last season in the final, Abdul Yayaha is optimistic of beating their arch rivals.

Pillars reached the finals after surviving a tough contest against Gombe Bulls in a 67-63 win.

 

With My Salary As A Minister, I Can’t Afford Lagos ‘Low Cost’ Houses – Obanikoro

ObanikoroMinister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has slammed the Lagos State Government for not being sincere to the people in its low cost housing projects.

While discussing issues of insecurity in the country on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr. Obanikoro, berated the Lagos State Government for its Ilubirin Housing Project, condemning the location of the estate, as well as the cost at which citizens would acquire the accommodation.

Obanikoro had been accused of using the military to obstruct the state project in Lagos State and he provided explanation that he was only on site seeing of some of the projects that affect his people as a Lagosian.

He explained that he never spoke a word to the workers at the site, let alone stop them from working. He claimed that he went to see the project, took pictures and left quietly, despite his reservations on the quality of work being done.

He wondered why the presence of his aides who followed him to the project site should be deliberately referred to by the State Governor as obstruction of work, when as a Minister he had no such mandate or powers.

He stated that the construction workers, whom he was alleged to have stopped from working, were actually at work while Governor Fashola was accusing him in the media.

On his reservation about the said project, Obanikoro said: “He (Governor Fashola) said ‘low cost’, it is not low cost. You cannot build a low cost housing estate on water, it’s not done anywhere in the world.

“How can a Governor in good conscience tell me that a 16million Naira 2bedroom flat is low cost?” he asked, adding that as a Minister whose annual salary was 2million Naira, he could not even have afforded that.

“When Alhaji Jakande was Governor, I bought a form for 1 Naira 50kobo, I was a clerk working in Union Bank, he actually built for the poor. I bought a form, I bought a flat, and you paid 1,500 Naira to be a house owner at that time.”

Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who is a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, also provided explanation to several other allegations that borders on his activities as a politician, especially as regards those made by Nigeria’s main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The issue of the Minister’s salary was also revisited as he was asked to clarify with details, his actual earning. Obanikoro insisted, “My annual salary is 2million Naira, everything put together plus my allowances is 4million Naira.”

Due Process Was Followed In Purchase Of Bulletproof Cars-NCAA

The Director, Finance and Accounts of the National Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mr Salau Ozigi on Tuesday maintained that the purchase of the two bulletproof BMW vehicles for the minister of aviation was carried out following the “usual process of lease arrangements”.

“All the procurement processes was followed from the office of the NCAA to the office of the supervising ministry” he added.

He however noted that transaction was not done on an “outright purchase” system adding that it was “done by an auto lease arrangement with First Bank of Nigeria Ltd”.

He said 22 banks submitted bids to carry out the lease arrangement but three banks, First Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Union Bank, were chosen after their bids were critically analysed and First Bank was eventually awarded the contract.

The vehicles, which according to Ozigi, were included in the 2013 NCAA Budget under the Safety and Security Vehicles, have been supplied by Messrs Coscharis Nigeria Limited and are parked at the NCAA office in Abuja.

He blamed the economics of demand and supply on the high price of the vehicles noting that “only Messrs Coscharis Nigeria Limited is the only authorised dealer or supplier of BMW of this nature” insisting that “there is a lot of economics of demand and supply in this regard”.

Ozigi further noted that there is a price monitoring unit within the agency responsible for ensuring the value for money is gotten for whatever is paid for by the agency, adding that fees for the four year warranty, clearance and maintenance of the vehicle, including “some other things” could have been considered to get the value for vehicles.

Debunking the claim that money budgeted for the procurement has been overspent he said “on this arrangement, NCAA has been committed to the payment of N23.2 million or there about on a monthly basis” noting that “NCAA has made a payment of N52 million up till the end of September” insisting that it is within the threshold of the amount appropriated for 2013.