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Access Bank Speaks On EFCC Arresting GMD



Access Bank

Access Bank Plc has dismissed reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested its group managing director, Herbert Wigwe.

Naija News reports some online media had claimed that the Access Bank MD was arrested by the anti-graft agency in connection with the assets of former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, alleged money laundering for former Petroleum Minister, Deziani Allison-Madueke, and alleged inflation of contracts linked to former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Reacting in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday, the Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, denied reports of the arrest of the Access Bank boss.

The bank stated that its staff were only quizzed over credit facilities availed Slok Nigeria Limited (owned by Orji Uzor Kalu) by the defunct Diamond Bank plc (which Access Bank had inherited following its merger with Diamond Bank).

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a trending report on social media regarding the alleged arrest of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc (Access Bank) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (“the Commission”).

“We wish to state that the issue essentially relates to the credit facilities that were availed Slok Nigeria Limited (“Slok”) by the defunct Diamond Bank plc (“Diamond”) and which were secured by Slok’s assets charged to Diamond. Access Bank had inherited the Slok credit following the recent merger of Diamond with Access Bank.

“Given the differing interest of the Commission and the Bank on the assets of Slok deriving from the court’s recent judgment on Slok, the Commission had invited for interrogation officials of Access Bank who were handling the Bank’s recovery efforts on Slok credit including its Group Managing Director.

“Following fruitful engagement between the Bank and the Commission, we are of the opinion that the issues relating to Slok investigation have been resolved.

“As an institution built on best practice, we wish to assure our esteemed stakeholders that the Bank will continue to conduct its business in line with extant laws and relations.”