NDIC: Okiro Contributed To Bank Collapse, It’s not true--IGP
The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has accused Inspector General of Police Mr. Mike Okiro of contributing to the collapse of Lead Bank because of the failure of a company linked to him to defray a loan of N162 million taken from the bank between 2000 and 2001.
NDIC on July 20, through its solicitor Okunade Olorundare, wrote to the police boss, asking him to settle the debt or risk court action. Okiro retires tomorrow, and it could not be confirmed last night if he had responded to the NDIC letter.
Okiro could not be reached by telephone for comments last night, as his phone was not available. A text message sent to him by one of our reporters was not replied to up till the time of going to press.
But Police Force Public Relations Officer Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu denied the allegations against the IG, saying the NDIC was only trying to hit back at him and smear his career because the police had recently charged to court the corporation's Managing Director Ganiyu Ogunlewe for alleged fraudulent deals with the recovered funds of Fortune Bank (in liquidation).
Records from the books of the failed Lead Bank, according to an NDIC document, show that even though the company Hekiro Nigeria Limited was registered on January 25, 1989 under a the name of Madam Bassey Okiro, one of the signatures used to collect loans from the failed bank was that of the IGP.
The NDIC document titled 'Indebtedness of Hekiro Nigeria Limited (family business of Mr. Mike Okiro) to Lead Bank' said the signature on Okiro's International Passport of Mr. Mike Okiro with number A0696925 issued on October 19, 2000 is similar to the one used by Bessy Okiro.
NDIC records show that when the Lead Bank's licence was revoked in January 2006, Hekiro's total debt to the bank stood at N166.597 million.
The accusations against Okiro are coming a few weeks after the Senate named a number of prominent Nigerians as being behind the collapse of many banks through abuse of insider credits.