The anti-corruption going in Nigeria has berthed in the banking industry and it is taking bigger dimensions than anyone could have ever imagined.
Last week, we reported that the Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank was arrested and detained by the economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC, the war has further spread into Sterling Bank, a tier 2 commercial bank.
Yemi Adeola, MD Sterling Bank was arrested last Wednesday. Yesterday, the commission yet again arrested the Herbert Wigwe, Managing Director of Access Bank PLC.
His arrest was connected to a USD 5 million fund laundered through the bank by Diezani Allison Madueke, the former minister for petroleum resources. The EFCC also traced some illicit funds into the bank alleged to have been laundered by officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA. They are all standing trial.
There has not been any official statement from Access Bank nor the Twitter handle of Herbert Wigwe.
— Herbert Wigwe, FCA (@HerbertOWigwe) May 6, 2016
In case they are found culpable, they might be pressured to step down for an acting CEO. Nnamdi of Fidelity has relinquished his position for Mohammed Balarabe who has since taking position with immediate effect.
Mohammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s new president had intensified an anti-corruption fight, his primary promise during his campaign last year. While opposition has argued the war is lopsided to former regime handlers, he has denied it. He vowed that the law would punish anyone found guilty irrespective of their political affiliation.
Nigeria’s economy has been battered by long time mismanagement and corruption by government officials. Buhari’s fight against graft might redirect the country into accountable governance.