As opposed to the defence put up by Sterling and Access Bank, First Bank, through FBN Holding, FBNH its parent company appears to be more transparent in its response to media reports on the EFCC’s investigations of its bank.
According to a statement by FBNH, the bank confirmed that the EFCC actually came to its office saying:
“As part of the ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC into sums allegedly distributed by the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke an Executive Director of First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr Daura Lawal, was invited by the commission and as a law abiding citizen he is cooperating fully with the authorities.”
FBNH assured its customers that “it has unalloyed commitment to upholding best practices and highest tenets of corporate governance at all times”
Media reports claimed Lawal laundered about USD 55 million for the former minister of state for petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. She is currently held up in London facing corruption charges with the Special Crimes Unit.
If this information is the truth, First Bank might get a lenient punishment from the CBN compared to other banks whose CEOs were allegedly linked directly to the transactions in question.
Nigeria has since started a crackdown on corruption after Muhammadu Buhari came into power in last May. The latest development has witnessed a flurry of allegations of how financial institutions were used by government officials to launder public funds.