Fidelity Bank Plc has named Mohammed Lawal Balarabe, the executive director (north), as the acting managing director -subject to regulatory approval.
Following the arrest and detention of Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in relation to allegations of bribery of electoral officials in the 2015 general election, the management of the bank on Monday, appointed an interim Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
The Board of the bank announced on Monday that the Executive Director, North, Mohammed Balarabe, has been appointed as the acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect subject to regulatory approval, adding that the decision followed ‘the absence of the substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.’
Though the bank’s statement did not state whether Okonkwo had been fired, it assured all its customers, including its shareholders of its continued services, despite the change in leadership.
The development is coming in the wake of the continued searchlight on the activities of the management of the bank, which saw Okonkwo being arrested and taken in detention by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.
Okonkwo’s travails followed an allegation that he received over $115 million from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and three others, but failed to report it to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, of the Commission.
The unit is the coordinating entity for the receipt and analysis of financial disclosure of Currency Transaction Reports and Suspicious Transaction Reports in line with Nigeria’s anti-money laundering and combating the financing terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
The monies were allegedly used to bribe Independent National Electoral Commission officials in the run-up to the 2015 presidential elections.
Fidelity bank is said to have refunded to the government about N49.7 million, being profit it made from the transaction.