Deziani: Cbn/efcc Officials Descend On Fidelity Bank


Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and those from the the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are at present digging into files at the headquarters of Fidelity Bank Plc, Lagos, as part of investigations into the $115 million it received from former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke.

A senior CBN official who spoke to THEWILL disclosed that they are checking all the books to ensure the bank is compliant with all the guidelines in Forex transactions and high volume transactions.

“The Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) of the EFCC does not work under the CBN, so they may not know immediately if there has been a contravention except there is an audit like what is presently going on,” the source said anonymously.

“We are checking all the books to confirm that the bank has complied with all the guidelines in its Forex transactions and high volume transactions.

“With what we have seen here, Fidelity is the first step in the compliance drive, other banks will be next.

“There is huge suspicion that bank officials aid money laundering by picking up cash from customers and covering up huge deposits by paying them into accounts in bits or find offtakers to received them. The fact is without the help of crooked bankers most of these dirty funds cannot find their way into the financial system locally or abroad.”

THEWILL recalls that the bank's Managing Director, Nnamdi Okonkwo, is currently with the EFCC to provide answers on some of the transactions carried out by the bank on behalf of Mrs.  Alison-Madueke.

The bank has maintained that all its transactions with her followed laid down rules and were reported to the appropriate agencies.

Fidelity has however named Mohammed Lawal Balarabe, Executive Director (Northern Operations), as its Acting Managing Director in the absence of Okonkwo.