Savannah Bank to Commence Accounts Verification


From James Emejo in Abuja, 07.23.2010 


The management of Savannah Bank of Nigeria (SBN) Plc said yesterday that it would open up centres in the six geopolitical zones in the country to begin  verification of depositors’ accounts before the end of the year.


Spokesman for the bank, Mr. Obi Adiele told THISDAY that the bank intends to  announce actual date for commencement of full operation after a project team  made up of local and foreign consultants completes an ongoing valuation exercise  in the bank.He said the bank currently has the goodwill and support of majority of Nigerians to resume operations, adding that the bank will continue to maintain its status as a ‘National Bank’.


Adiele said that Savannah Bank has engaged a group of auditors, consultants, financial  consultants to ensure that whatever information it dishes out to the public is  accurate.He added that the institution’s recapitalisation process has been hampered by  recent turmoil in the financial industry as it could not go to the market and  convince people to invest. “For us to give you accurate value of Savannah Bank we need to get into all the  branches and see what is left,” he said.Adiele said though actual takeover of the bank had started last year and that the  major branches are now in its control. The final handover is expected in a fortnight.


He said it has received barrage of requests from investors who want to buy into the institution but said it is careful in the kinds of offers to accept.The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had ordered the re-opening of Savannah Bank, which was closed about seven years ago by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).The bank’s licence was withdrawn by the CBN on February 15, 2002 over allegation  of unethical conduct.


Justice Stephen Jonah Adah of a federal high court sitting in Abuja had in 2006  said that the closure of the bank was in order.He said the CBN acted in line with its provision of section 12 of the Banking  and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Act.


Dissatisfied with the decision of the court, however, the management of the bank lodged an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja division.In the appeal, the bank asked the court to set aside the decision of the high  court. The bank argued that the trial judge was wrong in coming to the  conclusion that the CBN was right in closing down the bank.






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