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Updated: First Bank Removes Oba Otudeko As Chairman

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: DR. OBA OTUDEKO.
PHOTO: DR. OBA OTUDEKO.
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Updated: First Bank Plc has clarified that Dr Oba Otudeko voluntarily retired as Chairman.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 30, (THEWILL) – Dr. Oba Otudeko has been removed as Chairman of First Bank Plc, one year after he replaced Dr. Umaru Mutallab, the father of Nigerian Christmas Day under wear bomber, Abdul mutallab, who tried to blow up a US plane.

Otudeko’s sudden retirement alongside some other board members was announced by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the bank, Mr. Bisi Onasanya in an internal memo to employees of the bank obtained by THEWILL today.

The bank announced the appointment of Prince Ajibola Afonja as its new Chairman.

The Board also appointed Ibrahim Dahiru Waziri; Tunde Hassan-Odukale (his family owns majority shares in Leadway Insurance); Khadijah Alao Straub; and Obafemi Adedamola Otudeko as Non-Executive Directors.

The memo reads:

“BOARD LEADERSHIP TRANSITIONS Dear Colleagues,

In line with the Bank’s long-standing commitment to best-of-breed corporate governance practice, especially our commitment to continuity and a constant rejuvenation of the Board of Directors, and consistent with the provisions of the relevant sections of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks, I wish to inform you of the retirement of the Chairman, Dr. Ayoola Oba Otudeko from the Board effective December 31 2010.

Along with the Chairman, three other Non-Executive Directors, Alhaji Abdullahi Mahmood, General Garba Duba (Rtd.), and Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale also retired their appointments from the Board effective December 31 2010.

At a meeting of the Board of Directors held yesterday, and where these retirements were announced, the Board underlined its emphasis for continuity by appointing Prince Ajibola Afonja, previously a Non-Executive Director, as Chairman with effect from January 1 2011. The Board also appointed the following new Non-Executive Directors: Ibrahim Dahiru Waziri; Tunde Hassan-Odukale; Khadijah Alao Straub; and Obafemi Adedamola Otudeko.

Meanwhile, the Board has accepted Dr. Yerima Ngama’s resignation from the Board with effect from December 31 2010 in order to pursue newer challenges. Bello Mohammed Maccido was appointed an Executive Director in place of Dr Ngama with effect from January 1 2011.

Please join me in wishing the Chairman and other departing members of the Board of Directors the best in every new field of endeavour that they might desire to turn their immense skills to. And to welcome the new members of the Board with our excellent traditions of cooperation and hospitality.

Thank you.

Bisi Onasanya

GMD/CEO

FIRST BANK’S PRESS RELEASE AFTER THEWILL BROKE THE STORY

Lagos December 30, 2010 FirstBank Makes Board Changes The Chairman, Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Dr. Ayoola Oba Otudeko has announced his intention to retire from the Board of the Bank with effect from Friday, December 31 2010 after a meritorious service spanning 12 years. At a board meeting, which held on Wednesday, this week, Dr. Oba Otudeko premised his decision on his long-standing commitment to best-of-breed corporate governance practice, especially the need for continuity in the Bank’s strategic leadership and the requirement for constant renewal of the Bank’s Board of Directors. Dr. Otudeko’s decision also accords with the provisions of the relevant sections of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Code of Corporate Governance for Banks on the tenure of non-executive members of the boards of banks.

It would be recalled that in response to the CBN’s revocation of the universal banking business model earlier this year, FirstBank opted for the holding company structure model for coordinating the diverse subsidiaries that make up one of the country’s leading financial services institutions. Subject to the CBN’s authorisation, related regulatory approvals, and the consent of the Bank’s shareholders, Dr Otudeko’s voluntary retirement from the board of the Bank frees him to take on the difficult task of midwifing the new holding company structure.

In a related development, FirstBank has announced the voluntary retirement of three other non-executive directors, Alhaji Abdullahi Mahmood, General Garba Duba (rtd.), and Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale. These retirements all take effect from December 31 2010.

Prince Ajibola Afonja, previously a Non-Executive Director of the Bank, will take over as Chairman of the Bank’s board with effect from January 1 2011, while Ibrahim Dahiru Waziri, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, Khadijah Alao Straub, and Obafemi Adedamola Otudeko were appointed non-executive directors by the Bank in place of the three who retire at the end of the year. The new appointments are subject to CBN ratification.

Meanwhile, the Bank’s Board has accepted the resignation of one of its executive directors, Dr. Yerima Ngama, with effect from December 31 2010. Dr. Ngama who resigned to pursue newer challenges, will be succeeded by Bello Mohammed Maccido, who has been appointed an Executive Director with FirstBank with effect from January 1 2011. Folake Ani-MumuneyHead, Marketing & Corporate Communications.