Akingbola returns from exile, goes underground...May turn self in
Former Intercontinental Bank Managing Director (MD), Erastus Akingbola, on Tuesday returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom where he fled in August last year.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is aware of his arrival through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“We got the information and we are looking for him,” EFCC Spokesman Femi Babafemi,confirmed tuesday.
Akingbola reportedly flew British Airways (BA), landed at 5 a.m., and was met by friends who facilitated his return after nearly a year in self-exile.
But he is said to have gone into hiding.
However sources told pointblanknews.com that he may turn himself in this week on the advice of his legal team.
Akingbola was sacked by CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, alongside others on August 14, 2009 and was declared wanted by the EFCC on August 23 for failing to appear for questioning over alleged misappropriation of depositors' funds.
He was placed on watch list by the EFCC two months later when it was confirmed that he had escaped to London.
By December 2009, the EFCC had sealed up many of his properties in Lagos and secured a Mareva injunction from a London court to freeze all his assets worldwide.
Akingbola faces 28 charges along with six other officials of his former bank arraigned before Justice Tijani Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The charges include alleged money laundering involving N27 billion.
He is also wanted over allegations of mismanagement, resulting in the bank having non-performing loans worth an estimated N700 billion.
A total eight former bank MDs the CBN sacked between August 14 and October 2 last year have been arraigned in court by the EFCC together with other bank officials.
Abuja officially sought Akingbola's extradition from Britain through a letter federal Attorney General and Justice Minister, Mohammed Adoke, wrote to the British Home Secretary on July 1.
The letter followed a request from the EFCC seeking his arrest and extradition to face charges in court, ranging from financial misappropriation, money laundering, financial malpractices, corrupt practices, and other related offences.
Adoke said in the letter that the request “is made pursuant to the Extradition Act (Designation of Part 2 Territories) Order 2003 (SI2003 No.3334) of the United Kingdom.
“Nigeria avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the central authority of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the assurances of its highest regards and reciprocity.
“Akingola is charged with a 28-count charge for offences of financial misappropriation, money laundering, financial malpractices, corrupt practices, and other related offences at the Federal High Court Lagos.”