...The many Fruad that is Forcing him out of the bank
Recently the bank MD announced that he will not be serving for another term as his current term at the helm of the bank’s affairs will be coming to an end later this year after over 6 years in charge, many were surprised since there seems to be no problem with him health wise that can stop him from completing his ten years tenures that banks CEOs stay was pegged to some years back. Feelers from within the bank board alleged that his retirement is due to the many bad publicity the bank has been attracting under his management.
Another source inside the bank also revealed that as his parting gift the Onasanya led management has embarked on an impromptu renovation of the bank’s head office in Marina, Lagos. The renovation which we gathered is an attempt by the MD to further enrich himself was billed to be done under 6 months with no certain amount budgeted for it, the source alleged that the renovation in billed to gulp several billion of naira and that the plan is to mention the money after the whole thing has been concluded.
All attempt to get the response of the bank was futile but a sms sent to Babatunde Lasaki, the bank’s head of Media and External Relations was answered, and he confirmed that renovation is ongoing while also revealing that it is to be carried out at every big branch of the bank though he also could not confirm the budget.
It will be recalled that Onasanya’s emergence has seen the bank playing lead role in Dr. Abdulrasheed Maina pension scam. It would be recalled that the bank under Onasanya was at the fore front of the crisis when the Senate Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Governments, was investigating how pensions were looted when some officials of the Pension Office falsified documents to withdraw N24 billion instead of N3.5billion required and approved from the Budget Office for the payment of pensions, while N21 billion of the stolen money was lodged in a First Bank account, while the bank decided not to ask any question.
The bank also played a leading role in the now rested case of former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah’s N255m bullet proof car. Recently, a Federal High Court Judge in Lagos, Justice Mohammed Yunusa ordered First Bank of Nigeria Plc to make public, documents relating to loan facility obtained by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which was used in purchasing the controversial bullet proof cars for the former minister of aviation in 2013.
Onasanya led management was said to have entered into “over N1bn” loan facility with the agency to procure several vehicles for what the agency termed security and operational purposes without appropriation by the National Assembly. In the illegal deal the NCAA, which is the regulatory agency for the country’s aviation industry bought 54 vehicles for N643.1m under the “Leased Financing” it entered into with the First Bank Plc, including the controversial N255m bulletproof cars.
Also under his leadership the bank was also mentioned in a fraudulent activity that has to do with the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva and the SNECOU Group of Companies Limited over undisclosed services rendered since 2007 of which a deduction of N300 million monthly is being made from state's account based on an irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO). In a statement issued by the State Governor Mr. Seriake Dickson, who explained that the money was being drawn from the Bayelsa State Government Consolidated Revenue Fund Account domiciled in First Bank, as far back as June 2007, and that the firm alone had with the help of the bank collected over N32 billion in ISPO.
The bank’s image took further bashing when it was dragged before a federal high court sitting in Lagos, by the Office of Attorney General of the Federation in a three count criminal charge of money laundering, in the case the bank was accused of conspiring with others to launder the sum of $1.9 million, the source of which was unlawful and thereby committed an offence contrary to and Punishable under sections 15 (3) and 18(a) of Money Laundering (prohibition) Act.
Inside source revealed that the many bad publicity his administration has brought to the bank is the reason it was impressed on him not to look for extension of his tenure till the mandated 10 years, and this is what he’s playing on to further loot the bank before he finally bow out of office at the end of this year.