Anambra State Governor Obiano Fingered in N11bln Fidelity Bank Fraud – Part 1
A former Fidelity Bank employee has come out screaming at a monumental financial fraud perpetrated in the bank involving senior officers of the bank around the time of Nigerian banks recapitalization to the tune of N25billion under Prof. Charles Soludo, the former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor.
Elombah.com is in possession of copies of petitions dated 13 June 2011 sent to the Inspector General of Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by Mr. Frank Ogboko, who worked in the bank’s Internal Audit and Cost Control Unit, with regards to the Eleven Billion Naira fraud perpetrated when Obiano was the Executive Director of Fidelity Bank
The former Fidelity Bank employee, Mr. Ogboko, a Chartered Accountant and a member of ICAN since 1990 has let to light discrepancies and fraud involving two companies, Oil Recovery and Environmental Services Limited and ERES N.V limited of depositors fund totaling N11billion, culminating from huge debit balances from rogue loans and capital market fraudulent activities involving both companies and the management of Fidelity Bank.
According to Ogboko, who was appointed as a staff of Fidelity Bank on 1st November 2002, he noticed the discrepancy in the balance sheet and notified his immediate boss Mr. Boye Ogunbolade, saying that the actions of the bank was not in line the banks’ corporate and financial guidelines, but was persuaded to drop the matter and was eventually sacked.
He said. “Why my appointment was terminated was that I discovered a huge fraud perpetrated by officers of Fidelity bank. The officers involved are; Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi ( the former M.D) Chief Willie Obiano ( The Current Governor of Anambra State) Mr. Ikemefuna Mbagwu, Mr. Sam Obijiaku and Mr. Boye Ogunbolade.
“These are the officers involved in the fraud.
“I alerted Mr. Ogunbolade, my immediate boss that what the bank is doing is not good, that we are not making provisions in line with the provisional guidelines, and that is the N6.3 billion, and that we committed capital market fraud which is very very bad.
“He took offence and reported the matter to the M.D (Mr. Ihejiahi). They removed me from the unit, took me to the Corporate Services Unit.
“Right from the time the two companies took the loan, and they’ve taken subsequent loan from the bank, it beholds in the directors of the company to pay back the loans they took, but they did not and frantic effort was made by the bank to recover the loans.
“The bank statement relating to the accounts of both companies was above N3 billion each for the companies as the debit balance as at 31st October 2005. The two account balances were not cleared by the directors of the company because if the directors paid off the loan, they will give us the instruments used in paying back the loan.
They cannot pay it by cash. The bank wiped it off the system.
“The other case of the capital market fraud. What they did was that they will take money from the vault of Fidelity Bank. Vaults in various branches nationwide.
“They have regional officers in charge. They direct the regional officers to source money from their regions to pay into named accounts.
“These monies are then used by the beneficiaries to buy Fidelity bank shares. This implies that the board bought the shares by themselves. This they use in financing the initial public offer that they went for and then they say the shares have been oversubscribed.
“No, it is the depositors’ money that they used in buying the shares.
“And then they created loan accounts for such individuals. Those loan accounts are then converted into loans without appraisals and without recouping the funds.
“You now find out that the beneficiaries of those loans might not be able to pay back the loans because of the share prices explosion which brings the share prices down. The account beneficiaries still carry the loans the bank being what they are, know how to manage it. Those loans are created for people who did not apply for loans.
“In this case, the Central Bank of Nigeria did not go for investigations.
“This is how the capital market fraud was of N4.7 billion and the falsification of account to the tune of N6.3 billion totaling N11 Billion came about.
“This is what Chief Willie Obiano and his group including Mr. Peter Obi (the former governor of Anambra State) did, because Obi was the chairman then. It was a big fraud they committed.
“The two companies were in existence. I have documents showing their correspondence with Fidelity Bank that they existed.
“They can float a company; make A B or C as directors. Things can happen in Nigeria. The person will be coming to take money and give it to them.
“At the end of it all they know that, oh we cannot payback this money, they will just remove it gently from the system.
“I reported this matter to the then Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim. I sat down one on one with him, I gave him copies of the documents. I reported this matter to the EFCC, I gave them copies, I have my own copies and nothing happened.
“Even when I came out, I had discussions with the office of the NSA, this matter went to them. They did investigations. They said Francis, what you did was correct; the bank actually did the fraud. The fraud was actually committed, they investigated and it is true.
“Nigeria and her corruption and settlement palaver, I don’t know how they were settling. The IG of police would receive a document and nothing happened. EFCC would receive a document and nothing happened.
“When the whole thing happened it was Tafida that was there at the EFCC, I am surprised the way things are happening in Nigeria.
“The names of the Officers of the bank involved were mentioned in the petitions I sent to the EFCC, Reginald Ihejiahi, Chief Willie Obiano, Sam Obijiaku, Ikemefuna Mbagwu, and Boye Ogunbolade. These were the key officers that were in charge of the affairs of the bank.
“The bank is an entity. They cannot say they were not aware of what was happened at the bank because we gave then reports every day.
“Because of this, there have been several threats to my life. I don’t stay in my house until this case is over. For them if I am no longer alive, then this case is over because nobody will challenge them. I am a shareholder of the bank and also a former staff of the bank.
“I spent nearly one year in Ikoyi Prisons but was later granted bail in the High Court by Justice Kehinde Johnson. Since I came out, for the bank to go and prosecute this matter now, they refused going because they know that with the documents I have they will close down the bank. The N4.7 billion capital market fraud and N6.3 billion falsification of account.
“Chief Willie Obiano was there, Mr. Peter Obi was the chairman when all these was going on, and the money they used in paying to the account of Mr. Peter Obi’s company, Next International, I have documents relating to that.
“Since that thing was done, even though I was released on bail by the High court, they sent assassins to my house to look for me, but thank God I was not in the house that day. After that I had to relocate.”
We have been unable to get the governor’s response to the EFCC petition at the time of going to press. Neither him nor his media team has responded to elombah.com requests for comment.
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