Amina Mohammed

Some directors of First Bank have accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of failure to act on the petition they wrote against the immediate past Managing Director of the bank, Adesola Adeduntan.

Adeduntan, whose tenure was to officially end on December 31, 2024 suddenly tendered his resignation on April 20, 2024 and proceeded on retirement leave.

Speaking with TheScrutinyNG, a credible source in the bank said there was a $60m fraud which happened in the Compliance department of First Bank under Adeduntan’s leadership. He said this was one of the reasons why the former MD was forced to resign.

“During that period the bank was also in debt to the tune of N700 billion. So, the bank was in a serious financial mess during that period

According to him, when Adeduntan was asked to resign and go quietly, a decision he quickly complied with, some of the directors petitioned the EFCC to launch a probe into some of the infractions that took place under his leadership. They also attached evidence and asked the anti-graft agency to summon him, but nothing has been done about it.

“I am aware that some directors wrote a petition to the CBN, while others wrote to the EFCC. Till now, the EFCC failed to act on the matter and I haven’t heard any news that the man was invited” he said.

When our correspondent contacted the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, he promised to verify from the investigations department and get back. He failed to do so after a week while calls to his mobile phone were not answered.

Shedding more light on the FirstBank crisis, a former director in the CBN said there are many contending forces battling for the soul of the bank, with each using the influence they have to pull the bank in the direction they wanted.

“There are many factions in FirstBank and the way many in the financial sectors refer to the bank is ‘the bank of powers and principalities. There is a faction belonging to Femi Otedola, the current chairman of the bank. There is another faction loyal to Oba Otudeko, a former chairman of Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings. Don’t also forget Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited. Mike Adenuga of Globacom is also a major shareholder in the bank”.

“Each of these people have one agenda or the other and they use their connections in the Presidency and CBN to get things done in their favour. If you recall, in April 2021, some former directors at a board meeting of the bank had voted for Adeduntan to be retired as his second term was to expire”.

“Some people in the fingered Otudeko and Awosika as the brain behind it. However, those who wanted him to remain in the position used their connection with former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele to sack the board and made Adeduntan retain his position”.

“Now that Emefiele is gone and Cardoso is in charge, those against Adeduntan were able to use their connection to get him out. The current MD, Olusegun Alebiosu who took over from Adeduntan will also be watching his back”.



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