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Access Bank prosecutes defunct Intercontinental Bank staff for stealing N1.2bn from customers

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Intercontinental Bank

Following the startling discovery of a whopping N1.2bn fraud, allegedly committed by one Olayinka Sanni, qa former staff of Access Bank, through illegal siphoning of customers’ money, the bank has now taken the bold step to prosecute the said former staff, through the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC,) after intensive investigations confirmed Sanni’s culpability in the alleged fraud.

An employee of Access Bank, one Arthur Ezindu, narrated how Olayinka Sanni, then an Account General Manager, AGM, of several plum accounts, severally stole a sizeable amount of money to the tune of N1.2billion from several accounts belonging to customers of the bank. Some of these customers’ accounts include: the Falana & Falana Chambers; Babington Junior Seminary; Viju Industries; Mechano Nigeria, PWU Nigeria; Elizade Nigeria; Murhi International Group, to mention a few.

Sanni was reportedly arraigned alongside one Oyebode Oteyebi by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an eight-count charge bordering on stealing, forgery and altering of forged documents. Ezindu, who gave his office address as Block 99C Damole, off Adeola Odeku, testified as a prosecution witness before an Ikeja High Court, Lagos. While being led in evidence by the EFCC Lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, Ezindu said that Sanni withdrew the said huge sum of money from different customers’ accounts without their consent and thereafter issued them forged documents of confirmation which he purportedly claimed, emanated from the bank.

In the course of interrogation, Arthur Ezindu told the Special Offences Court that, Olayinka, who was his boss at the time of the incident, was a regional Executive, Lagos Mainland North at Intercontinental bank, now Access Bank.

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According to him, “The bank received several complaints from several customers whose accounts were debited without their consent. However, during the preliminary investigation, we noticed that all the complaints were centered on our staff, Olayinka Sanni. We then invited him to the head office for questioning, but he claimed that everything was under control. He told us not to bother investigating the matter on the ground, that there was more behind what was happening. So since he was our senior officer, being the AGM at that time, we decided to petition his case to the EFCC for proper investigation. When asked how much was involved as at the time the bank petitioned for EFCC, Ezindu replied, the total sum was about N1.2billion.

The prosecution thereafter tendered the petition dated September 2011 in evidence. Meanwhile, the two defendants were also arraigned alongside a company, Sidaw Ventures Limited, which was allegedly used to transfer and cash out the stolen funds. The employee further said that during the preliminary investigation, the bank discovered that the company, Sidaw had Adamu as its signatory, while Sanni indirectly managed the account. Some of the handwriting on the cheques belonged to Sanni. He was the one indirectly signing and filling the cheques for Adamu. But in the wake of this unfolding scenario that is creeping into the good image of Access Bank, it was found out that the sleaze by Sanni was actually committed when he was still a staff of now defunct Intercontinental Bank, before it was acquire by Access Bank, thus with its assets and liabilities, as normally done in cases of acquisition.

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Upon acquisition, Access Bank began a fresh look into the books and records of Intercontinental Bank; that was when the Olayimka Sanni’s lead was broken, as many atrocities and malfeasances were discovered, all pointing in the direction of Sanni, who by this time had resigned from Access Bank, apparently due to the fact, that it would not take long before his misdeed will be found, and he would go in for it. Subsequently, he was invited by the bank and handed over to EFCC for further investigation, which now led to his present prosecution at the Ikeja High Court (Special Offences Unit.) The case was adjourned to a later date for further hearing, while the accused was refused bail, and still in the detention of EFCC.

The deduction from the case is that the implication being created is that the fraud was committed by Sanni as a staff of Access Bank, but the truth of the matter is that the fraud was committed by Sanni while he was a top official of defunct Intercontinental Bank, until it was eventually acquired by Access Bank with all its assets and liabilities, which now, in a fresh bid to regularize the acquisition, found out the sleaze committed by Sanni.

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FBNQuest Trustees Marks 40th Anniversary Of Preserving Legacy

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Trustees Limited, an FBN Holdings company has announced the celebration of its 40th anniversary as a leading provider of world-class trust and estate planning services in Nigeria. The event themed “A Legacy that Preserves Legacies” was held on Friday, 13 September 2019 at Landmark Event Centre in Lagos

The event presented an opportunity for FBNQuest Trustees to share key insights on the importance of Corporate Trust Management, Estate Planning, and Wealth Transfer, which are crucial elements to ensuring the preservation of legacies. Dr. Omobola Johnson, Senior Partner at TLcom Capital LLP and former Minister for Communication Technology, delivered the keynote address at the event.

FBNQuest Trustees was incorporated as Standard Trustees Nigeria Limited on August 8, 1979. The company at the time was a wholly owned subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which was known as Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited. The name Standard Trustees Nigeria Limited was changed to First Trustees Nigeria Limited in March 1980; and in April 2014 it was renamed FBN Trustees Limited to align with the FBNHoldings group naming convention. In November, 2017 it was again re-named FBNQuest Trustees Limited to signal its membership of the FBNQuest family, and its commitment to partnering with its clients on their quest to define and achieve financial success.

FBNQuest Trustees is modelled as a representation of the forward thinking culture of the FBN Holdings Plc, to improve and develop specialised capabilities within the trusteeship, asset and fund management services of the Nigerian financial system. Today, the company specialises in providing Investment Advisory Services, Corporate, Public and Private Trust Management; and as a part of FBNQuest draws on the trailblazing spirit, and a consistent focus on excellence to deliver exceptional services to clients.

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Over the past 40 years, FBNQuest Trustees has not only become a leading trust company in Nigeria, but also a key pillar in the business of trusteeship. To highlight some of its key achievements over the years, the company continues to be the preferred local partner for international and multilateral entities looking to have businesses in Nigeria, and in 2013 served as the sole bond trustee on the very first bond issued by a multilateral institution in Nigeria (International Finance Corporation (IFC) $50,000,000 fixed rate senior unsecured bond).

FBNQuest Trustees is the first trust company to publish an educative compendium on estate planning to actively engage, and educate stakeholders, on the importance of Estate Planning in Nigeria, through its Legacy Series; and is a pioneer for Islamic finance in Nigeria, which led to its co-management of the first government issued Sukuk instrument launched by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2017. The company also partnered and organised a stakeholder engagement on Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) and its implications for estate planning.

Speaking about the milestone celebration, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FBNQuest Trustees, Mr. Adekunle Awojobi, emphasised the firm’s impact on trusteeship business in Nigeria, and by extension, the economy. He said, “From when we began our journey in 1979, FBNQuest Trustees has delivered impeccable solutions for the safekeeping of our clients’ assets, the transfer of generational wealth, and the preservation of their legacies. We are extremely proud to be a part of the 125 year old legacy of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and the rich heritage of FBNHoldings as we celebrate a 40 year track record of distinction, dependability and professionalism in the trustee business.”

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“We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the growth of the company over the years, as we continue to provide excellent services to our clients. We also take this opportunity to recommit to excellently serving our clients across diverse sectors to ensure that their legacies are preserved.” He added.

In terms of growth and financial performance, the company has continuously delivered shareholder value in alignment with the mandate of the Group. From a share capital of about N30 million in 90s, the company has increased to a share capital of N3billion in 2019; and has grown its profit after tax (PAT) year on year consistently, with liquid trust assets under management in excess of N40 billion as at June 30 2019.

About FBNQuest Trustees

FBNQuest Trustees is a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc. Our distinctive heritage as an organisation allows us to leverage specialisation of the subsidiaries of our parent company to enhance delivery and provide world-class client solutions.

We assess your needs and provide tailored solutions for the safekeeping of assets and transfer of wealth across generations. From estate planning services to government bond issuance, we hold a solid market position as a leading trust services provider

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Fidelity Bank Donates Laboratory To Correctional Home

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L-R: Reps of the Governor of Gombe State, Perm Sec Ministry of Health, HRH Hassan Ibrahim reads the text on the plaque during the official commissioning of the renovated Primary Healthcare Centre, Lubo in Gombe State as Head HRBP & Recruitment/CSR & Sustainability, Chris Nnakwe looks on

***LASG Commends Lender For CSR projects

Fidelity Bank Plc, top Nigerian lender has handed over a well-equipped, state-of-the-art Kitchen/Catering Laboratory for the use of students at the Girls Correctional Home, Idi-Araba, Lagos. The project, according to the bank, is a clear demonstration of its unwavering support towards enhancing the lives and wellbeing of less privileged members of the society.

 

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony in Lagos recently, the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nnamdi Okonkwo said that the decision to embark on the project is borne out of a deep-seated realisation that vocational education remains vital to the development of any society.

Laboratory

L-R: Head HRBP & Recruitment/CSR & Sustainability, Chris Nnakwe; Reps of the Governor of Gombe State, Perm Sec Ministry of Health, HRH Hassan Ibrahim; Branch Leader Gombe, Umar Bappi; Reps of the Speaker, Haruna Wambai; District Head of Lubo, Usman Mohammad during the official commissioning of the renovated Primary Healthcare Centre, Lubo in Gombe State

Okonkwo who was represented the bank’s Head of Legal Division, Kingsley Ohiri thanked the Ministry of Youth & Social Development for giving them the opportunity to partner with the State and hoped to do more in the future. He also mentioned the bank had, in the past, carried out some CSR projects in the State such as the Correctional Centre for Boys, Birrel Avenue, Yaba where vocational training tools were provided for the use of wards at the centre.

 

While commissioning the project, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Olusegun Dawodu said that the kitchen would provide the children the means to learn a new vocation which they would use to benefit themselves and the society at large.

 

Dawodu also reiterated the resolve of the State Government to prioritise the needs of the teeming youth saying, “The Lagos State Government would continue to support and empower the children and youth in the State with relevant skills in order to play active roles in the Nigerian economy, thereby creating wealth and reducing the rate of unemployment and criminal activities among the youths and children”.

 

He specifically thanked Fidelity Bank for supporting the Government and especially the youths in the State by initiating and extending their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to ensure that the society is impacted positively.

 

On her own part, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Yewande Falugba, emphasised the need for well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to emulate Fidelity Bank by partnering with the State Government in ensuring the social well-being of the youths and children.

 

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We Partnered with Tony Elumelu Foundation to Create Economic Opportunities in Conflict Prone Regions – ICRC President Says

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At the just concluded Forum organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), key speakers Tony O. Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) proffered entrepreneurship as the most sustainable solution to accelerating Africa’s transformation. During a one-on-one conversation at the event, both speakers called for a new private-sector-led approach to humanitarian development in Africa.

While speaking at the Forum, Peter Maurer commended the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s private-sector-led approach as the gold standard of humanitarian development in Africa focused on impacting lives at scale and transforming the continent.

Mr. Maurer said: “On one side, it is important that we assist and protect people when they are disrupted by violence and war. But what brought me together with Tony is not the white shirt and the blue suit, it is his deep conviction that with longer and protracted conflict we need to bring people much earlier into independence.”

He added: “We need, more than ever, in the most fragile, violent parts of society to show the pathway to independence and to a dignified life and this goes with income-generating activities, productive activities, with small businesses. This is why we partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation”.

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On his part during the discussion themed “Private Sector Partnerships with Humanitarian Organisations: Putting People First”, Mr. Elumelu commended Mr. Maurer’s leadership and the decision to partner with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to eradicate extremism and violence.

He said: “Through the partnership between TEF and ICRC, a lot is happening that shows the catalytic impact of your vision. Ours was the first ever partnership that ICRC had explored using a different approach to humanitarian development, from the angle of empowering the private sector. Today, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has partnered with AfDB on empowering 1000 beneficiaries, UNDP which started with 1000 entrepreneurs and has now been scaled up to empower 100,000 African entrepreneurs starting with the Sahel region. The most important thing is that we give economic hope and opportunity to our people and reduce the cases of fragility that we see across the continent.”

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In 2018, ICRC and the Tony Elumelu Foundation partnered to sponsor 200 entrepreneurs from the North East and Niger Delta regions of Nigeria to catalyse and accelerate transformation while scaling impact in conflict-prone areas. The intervention is built on the existing Tony Elumelu Foundation’s USD100million commitment to empower 10,000 young African entrepreneurs in 10 years across the continent. Driven by the economic philosophy of Africapitalism,  it represents a bottom-up approach with the goal of creating millions of jobs and increased revenue on the continent.

The ICRC Forum took place in Lagos yesterday and gathered key stakeholders in government and humanitarian development to explore alternative approaches to impacting lives on the continent.  Present at the event were Princess Aderemi Adebowale, representing the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Mr. Babtunde Paul Runwase, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Juan Luis Coderque Galligo, Head, New Financing Models, ICRC; and Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation; amongst others.

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