- As EFCC withdraws charges against Diezani, Kola Aluko
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken over the Board and management of Skye Bank Plc after the lender failed to meet the regulator’s minimum key liquidity and capital adequacy ratios.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this at a news conference, which was held at the CBN’s head office in Lagos.
Emefiele said the apex bank had appointed a new board and management for the bank following the resignation of the Chairman, Chief Tunde Ayeni, and Management Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo.
He said the bank’s outgoing board and management had consistently failed to turn the fortunes of the bank around despite consistent warnings from the CBN.
In place of the outgoing board and management, Emefiele said the CBN had appointed Alhaji MK Ahmad as the new chairman, while Mr. Tokunbo Abiru is the new MD/CEO.
The governor also said the CBN had removed and replaced all the non-executive directors and two longest-serving directors of Skye Bank.
The CBN boss urged shareholders and customers of the bank to remain calm, stressing that the bank was not in distress.
“I maintain that Skye Bank is not in distress. We have only taken this unavoidable decision to ensure that depositors’ funds are not eroded,” he said.
Meantime, Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of a federal high court in Abuja has struck out the names of former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and a businessman, Chief Kolawole Akanni Aluko, from the criminal charges filed against them While Madueke is in the United Kingdom, Akanni -Aluko is said to be at large.
Justice Nyako struck out their names after the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, made an application to that effect. Alison-Madueke and Akanni-Aluko were initially charged alongside Babajide John Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere and David Mbanefo for alleged crude oil fraud.
However, Omokore and others were arraigned but they pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Interestingly, the prosecutor Jacobs, did not oppose the applications, but however told the judge to give them conditions that would make them appear in court for trial. After the arguments on bail, Justice Nyako granted each of them bail in the sum N50 million.
Omokore and others were arraigned before the court on a nine-count charge slammed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In her ruling on the bail application of the defendants, Justice Nyako said each of the defendants must produce a surety, who must either be a senior civil servant or must have a landed property.
She said the sureties must depose to an affidavit of means and that the defendants must also deposit their international passport with the court.
Count one on the charge sheet signed by the Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of the EFCC, Aliyu M. Yusuf reads: “That you, Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Ltd and Kolawole Akanni Aluko (now at large) between May and October, 2013, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, by false pretence and with intent to defraud, induced the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver to you 5, 652, 227 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) valued at the sum of US $ 616, 013, 615.27, through the medium of contact (Strategic Alliance Agreement) which delivery was induced by false pretence to wit: the representation that you have technical competence, professional skilss and funds (both local and foreign) necessary to support NPDC in petroleum operation for the OML 60, 62, 62 and 63 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act CAP A6 2010 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
Count three: “That you, Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Ltd and Kolawole Akanni Aluko (now at large) between May 2013 and March 2014, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court obtained by false pretence and with intent to defraud 7, 551, 867 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) valued at the sum of US$ 823, 075, 189.95 from Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the false pretence that you had funds (both local and foreign) necessary to support the Nigerian Petroleum Company Ltd in Petroleum operation for the OML 60, 61, 62 and 63 and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act CAP A6 2010 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.