15th September, 2010
The management of Spring Bank Plc has debunked fraud allegations against the current topÂ management of the bank.
Also, contrary to police allegation that the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mrs. SolaÂ Ayodele has fled to the United States of America, she is in Nigeria.
A newspaper report had recently alleged involvement of the Spring Bank new management inÂ fraud and economic crimes estimated at about N5.2 billion. The paper had stated that theÂ Federal Attorney General and the Justice Minister, Mr. Bello Adoke, has filed five chargesÂ against the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Spring Bank Plc, Mrs. SolaÂ Ayodele and other management staff of the bank who were purported to have obtained the moneyÂ from a company, Strand Capital Partners Limited (SCPL).
But Spring Bank, in a statement by Igwe U. Igwe, head, Brand Management, debunked the fraudÂ allegations in its entirety, stating that there was no money in the SCPL account in theÂ first instance as to warrant a theft.
Rather, the bank said what is at issue is a long drawn criminal manipulation of facts byÂ SPCL and Secure Electronic Transactions Plc (formerly known as National Sports LotteryÂ (NSL)), two companies owned by the Kola Daisi family, to fraudulently obtain the sum ofÂ N5.2bn from the vaults of the bank.
A matter filed by Spring Bank in 2009 seeking the payment of over N7bn indebtedness by NSLÂ is currently in the Federal High Court, Lagos Division before Justice Okechukwu Okeke and isÂ receiving due attention.
According to the statement, â€œthe Suleyman Ndanusa-led interim management of the bank betweenÂ 2007 and 2008 purportedly approved N5.2billion for Strand Capital, who were underwriters toÂ the failed NSL Initial Public Offer of 2008.
â€œHowever, the transaction was reversed by the Charles Ojo-led management under the BankÂ PHB/Spring Bank acquisition exercise, on the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria, whichÂ also ordered the termination of the transaction.
â€œThe CBN directive was premised on the fact that the transaction did not follow due processÂ and clearly showed an abuse of Corporate Governance. A typical example of the illegalityÂ perpetrated in the purported approval of the facility is the fact that a former GeneralÂ Manager of Spring Bank, Dr. Tunji Sobodu, who facilitated the transaction was at the time,Â also a director of Strand Capital.â€
According to the bank, â€œthe facilitation was also done in conjunction with the formerÂ Treasurer of the bank, Dapo Adeyemi-Bajo, who now works with NSL. The purported approval ofÂ the N5.2bn facility neither passed through the Management Credit Committee, the Board CreditÂ Committee nor the Interim Management Board at the time.â€
The bank which has faulted the arraignment of the present GMD/CEO and other staff of theÂ bank, who were not party to the transaction, has already secured an order of court,Â restraining the police from carrying out the threats of arrest.
Sources close to the bank disclosed that the management staff of Spring Bank mentioned inÂ the arraignment, have also alleged assassination threats on their lives after attempts toÂ induce them with several millions of naira to co-operate with NSL/SCPL in the release ofÂ N5.2 billion failed.