CBN, AMCON To Appear Before Senate Over Cecilia Ibru’s Seized Assets

By Chris Nomjov

The Upper legislative chambers, the Senate has summoned the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to appear before it over seized assets worth N150bn. Both parastatals are to appear before the Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-corruption

The two federal government agencies had seized the assets in property and cash from the erstwhile Managing Director of the defunct Oceanic Bank International Plc, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, upon her conviction for fraud by a court of law.

A member of the committee, who preferred anonymity, told our correspondent on Sunday that the management of the CBN and AMCON, among other parties, would appear before it today (Monday) to respond to a petition.

The source said the petition alleged certain irregularities in the execution of the bank consolidation ordered by the CBN.

He added that the committee was also interested in the recovery of assets from loan defaulters and convicted managing directors of the defunct Oceanic Bank International Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Afribank Plc and Bank PHB.

The senator explained that a correspondence from the committee to the two federal government agency specified that the petition before it alleged that the funds and properties recovered by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission from Ibru were not remitted.

He also said that the properties and shares were never advertised for sale and the proceeds were not remitted to the banks and AMCON.

The lawmaker said, “The letter of invitation by the committee, which was signed by the Chairman, Senator Victor Lar, said of particular interest are the assets of Cecilia Ibru under the plea bargain with the EFCC, which were alleged to have never been accounted for.”

Ibru was convicted of fraud by a Federal High Court judge presided over by Justice Dan Abutu in Ikoyi, Lagos.

She forfeited two aircraft worth $100m, landed properties in Dubai, South Africa and the United Kingdom, as well as shares in some Nigerian companies.

The committee, which is billed to begin its investigative hearing today, also summoned the Managing Director of Ecobank Plc, which bought over Oceanic Bank, to come along with statements of account on the consolidation of banks from AMCON, the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation and the CBN from 2009 till date.

The Ecobank boss is expected to also show proof of transfer of assets/shares/cash from AMCON to the bank.

Also expected at the hearing is the Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Alhaji Munir Gwarzo, and the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde.

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