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Fidelity Bank Again! Reps committee summons CEO, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe over forgery

Adewale Nurudeen



Fidelity Bank Again! Reps committee summons CEO, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe over forgery

The House of Representatives Committee investigating looted funds has summoned the Managing Director/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, to appear before it next week Wednesday over alleged falsified records and unremitted funds from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Onyeali-Ikpe is also expected to appear in respect of the recovered looted funds from the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison Madueke, which was traced to Fidelity Bank.

Out of the $153 million of the looted funds from NNPC, $40 million was alleged to have passed through Fidelity Bank.

It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) last week quizzed the former MD of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo over his role in the $153 million recovered funds from former Petroleum Minister, Allison Madueke.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the former Fidelity Bank MD would be invited to appear alongside the current MD to explain some of the issues raised by the committee.

The above resolution was taken when different banks appeared before the House investigative panel to respond to issues arising from the recovered looted funds from NNPC.

The Chairman of the committee, Adejero Adeogun, in his ruling threatened to issue a warrant of arrest should the MD refuse to appear on the next adjourned date.

Recall BusinessLive reported that the EFCC may soon begin the prosecution of the Fidelity Bank Plc boss over the bank’s involvement in a N2 billion fraud saga.

A Federal High Court judge, Okon Abang, had stated how the bank and its top officials aided Abdulrasheed Maina, the former chairwoman of the disbanded Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) to steal N2 billion belonging to Nigerian pensioners.

Justice Abang found the former pension boss guilty of persuading Fidelity Bank employees to open bank accounts for him without performing the necessary due diligence. He was found guilty of using the identities of his family members without their knowledge to mask his genuine identity as a signatory to accounts opened at Fidelity Bank.

EFCC to prosecute Fidelity Bank, CEO Onyeali-Ikpe over N2bn fraud

Maina’s fraudulent actions, which were assisted and expedited by Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe led Fidelity Bank Plc, “ruined” many properties in the country, including those of the bank’s clients. Mr Abang, the judge, stated that Fidelity Bank Plc should have been charged alongside Mr Maina for acting as “conduits” for the stolen funds.

The EFCC charged  Maina with using false names to register and manage different bank accounts at Fidelity Bank Plc in the charge FHC/ABJ/CR/256/2019. He also enlisted the help of his banker cousins to set up phoney bank accounts and funnel illicit monies via them.

According to the Judge, “We requested Drew Construction’s and his Fidelity Bank’s statements, and uncovered Maina’s method of concealing and stealing his family members’ identities, forming firms in their names, and opening a corporate bank account without their knowledge.”

Justice Abang said that “Fidelity Bank Plc led by Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe should have been charged with the convict for fraudulent activities” and that “their license should have been revoked.”

Justice Abang further claimed that Fidelity Bank Plc “provided the channels through which the convict (Mr Maina) cheated the federal government,” adding that “the proceeds of criminal actions benefited the bank.”

He said the bank failed to carry out due diligence in determining the genuine identity of the people in whose names Mr Maina opened and ran the bogus bank accounts.

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