Access Bank Management clears the air on GMD arrest rumours.
False rumours which had earlier pervaded the media airspace about Access Bank’s group managing director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe being arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of fraud has been dispelled by the able Management of the distinguished financial institution of great repute.
Malicious and falsified reports had earlier been circulated by some online news sites without appropriate thorough investigation that the Access Bank boss was arrested for his connection with the assets of former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, alleged money laundering for former petroleum minister, Deziani Allison-Madueke, as well as alleged Contracts Inflation linked to incumbent Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday, January 10, 2019 by the company secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, the lender denied the reports, stressing that its officials were only invited for interrogation over credit facilities that were availed Slok Nigeria Limited (owned by Orji Uzor Kalu) by the defunct Diamond Bank plc (which Access Bank had inherited following its merger with Diamond Bank) and which were secured by Slok’s assets charged to Diamond Bank.
In the statement below, the bank further lends credence to the fact that the cause of the hullabaloo has been fully resolved:
“Our attention has been drawn to a trending report on social media regarding the alleged arrest of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc (Access Bank) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (“the Commission”).
We wish to state that the issue essentially relates to the credit facilities that were availed Slok Nigeria Limited (“Slok”) by the defunct Diamond Bank plc (“Diamond”) and which were secured by Slok’s assets charged to Diamond. Access Bank had inherited the Slok credit following the recent merger of Diamond with Access Bank.
Given the differing interest of the Commission and the Bank on the assets of Slok deriving from the court’s recent judgment on Slok, the Commission had invited for interrogation officials of Access Bank who were handling the Bank’s recovery efforts on Slok credit including its Group Managing Director.
Following fruitful engagement between the Bank and the Commission, we are of the opinion that the issues relating to Slok investigation have been resolved.
As an institution built on best practice, we wish to assure our esteemed stakeholders that the Bank will continue to conduct its business in line with extant laws and relations
The Management abhorrs the shameful attempts of mischief makers intent on image slandering and has vowed to take a stronger stand against such childish antics in future.