After 24 hours of their detention, Herbert Wigwe and Yemi Adeola, CEO of Access Bank and Sterling Bank respectively have been released by EFCC, Nigeria’s anti-corruption commission.
The duo were taken into custody for their alleged involvement in laundering of hefty funds. While Yemi was arrested on Thursday, Herbert was taken into custody of the EFCC on Friday.
Sources close to the EFCC claimed both CEOs made part deposits of the total amount they are accused of laundering for various persons either on trial or yet to be tried. Yemi was alleged to have laundered about USD 88 million for Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former minister of state for petroleum resources. He is reported to have refunded about NGN 5 billion in the negotiation process.
Herbert was alleged to have also returned the USD 5 million he received from a Zenith Bank account.
It is unclear whether management of both banks will be pressing for the resignation of both men. While this is a highly probable end.
However, the EFCC might be pressing charges against the two individuals and or the bank. If and when this happens, the two CEOs would be replaced to avert any vacuum and bad public relations for the banks.
Access Bank’s Q1 2016 result was positive, one of the best result the bank recorded for a long time. Replacing Herbert after this matter is a big dilemma for the bank and might hurt its operations if a solid succession systems was not in place in the bank.