Newly appointed MD of First Bank Holdings arrested and detained

 Newly appointed MD of First Bank Holdings arrested and detained
Nnamdi Okonkwo

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested and detained the newly appointed Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Holdings Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo.

Details of Mr. Okonkwo’s arrest remained sketchy Monday night although some sources said he was being questioned over his role in the transfer of $153.3 million from the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission in favor of Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former petroleum minister. The banker was the managing director of Fidelity Bank at the time.

The banker has remained in EFCC custody for at least three days, a source said, adding that it was unclear when he would be allowed to go home.

The EFCC had on April 28, 2016, detained Mr. Okonkwo over the same matter and later slammed a 14-count charge, including money laundering, on him. The status of the case is unclear as of the time of filing this report on Sunday morning.

It is also unclear if there are fresh shreds of evidence against the banker which has now necessitated a fresh round of investigation. EFCC officials contacted declined to provide details.

The board of FBN Holdings Plc had on October 28 appointed Mr. Okonkwo the new GMD of the company with effect from January 1, 2022. He will succeed U.K. Eke, who will step down on December 31, according to the company’s note to the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

The board decision came five days after the chairman of Geregu Power Plc, Femi Otedola, declared his 5.07 percent stake in the group, making him a substantial shareholder.

It also came a day after Tunde Hassan-Odukale (FirstBank’s chairman) responded to a query from the exchange to FBN Holdings, seeking clarification on why the shareholding of Mr. Hassan-Odukale and related parties were classified into two parts of 4.16 and 1.20 percent respectively, totaling 5.36 percent.


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