Spring Bank refutes fraud allegations



By Ademola Alawiye   Tuesday, 14 Sep 2010

The management of Spring Bank Plc has debunked fraud allegations levelled against the current top management of the bank.


A national newspaper (not The PUNCH) had reported the alleged involvement of the top management of the bank in fraud and economic crimes estimated at N5.2bn.


The report had said that the Federal Attorney General and the Justice Minister, Mr. Bello Adoke, had filed five charges against the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Spring Bank, Mrs. Sola Ayodele, and other top managers of the bank who were reported to have obtained the money from Strand Capital Partners Limited.


But the bank, in a statement on Monday, refuted the fraud allegations, noting that there was no money in the SCPL account.


According to the statement, ”What is at issue is a long drawn criminal manipulation of facts by SPCL and Secure Electronic Transactions Plc, to fraudulently obtain the sum of N5.2bn from the vaults of the bank.”


It explained, ”The Suleyman Ndanusa led interim management of the bank between 2007 and 2008 purportedly approved N5.2bn for SCPL, who were underwriters to the failed NSL Initial Public Offer of 2008.


”However, the transaction was reversed by the Charles Ojo led management under the Bank PHB/Spring Bank acquisition exercise, on the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which also ordered the termination of the transaction.”


The statement also said, ”The CBN‘s directive was premised on the fact that the transaction did not follow due process and clearly showed an abuse of corporate governance. A typical example of the illegality perpetrated in the purported approval of the facility is the fact that a former General Manager of Spring Bank, Dr. Tunji Sobodu, who facilitated the transaction was at the time, also a director of SCPL.


The facilitation was also done in conjunction with the former treasurer of the bank, Mr. Dapo Adeyemi-Bajo, who now works with NSL. The purported approval of the N5.2bn facility neither passed through the Management Credit Committee, the Board Credit Committee nor the Interim Management Board at the time.”


The bank also faulted the arraignment of the present GMD and other workers of the bank, which it claimed were not party to the transaction, adding that it had already secured an order of court, restraining the police from carrying out the threats of arrest.


Sources at the bank also said that some managers had alleged assassination threats on their lives after attempts to make them co-operate with NSL/SCPL in the release of N5.2bn failed.


Source: The Punch




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