CBN Debunks N5.2bn Spring Bank Fraud Story

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Fresh facts have emerged that the Kola Daisi family are behind the false allegations of  fraud leveled against the current management of Spring Bank Plc. The media were awashed on  Monday with reports alleging a fraud of N5.2billion perpetrated by the Group Managing  Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Sola Ayodele and other top officials of the bank.

Unknown to the public however, the allegation is part of a long drawn criminal manipulation  of facts by the National Sports Lottery (NSL) and its subsidiary, Strands Capital Partners  Limited, owned by the Kola Daisi family to fraudulently obtain the sum of N5.2 billion from  the vaults of Spring Bank Plc in 2008.

The Daisis are irked that their various attempts to ride on the back of the two companies to  defraud the bank were frustrated by the staff of Spring Bank which they now accused. Having  tried every possible means to flee from justice in another suit filed by Spring Bank Plc to  reclaim an indebtedness of over N7bn form NSL, the Kola Daisis resorted to a cheap blackmail  and intimidation of the Management of Spring Bank Plc through the press. This is in spite of  the fact that Mrs. Sola Ayodele-led management of Spring Bank only assumed duties in the  bank a year after the transaction involving N5.2billion was terminated by the previous  Charles Ojo – led administration under the directive of the apex bank.

In a swift reaction however, the CBN in a statement released on Tuesday established the fact  that the Kola Daisi family has been feeding the media as well as the public with falsehood  just to cover the fact that they are actually indebted to the bank. Aside from that, the  apex bank advised that it was baseless to continue to contest a claim that cannot be  substantiated adding that NSL should allow the case, which is already before a competent  court to run its course.

The CBN statement, entitled “Spring Bank Plc Underwriting Commitment/Agreement In respect Of  National Sports Lottery (NSL) Plc Public Offer,” and dated September 14, 2010, chronicled  the apex bank’s thorough investigations into the case.

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The statement among other facts deposed that “…at the meeting of the CBN examiners with the  petitioner (NSL) on January 19, 2009, and the subsequent meeting held with the Director of  Banking Supervision, CBN, on February 23, 2010, your claim that Spring Bank’s offer letter  of July 7, 2008, extending a N5.208 billion underwriting line facility to Strand Capital  partners Limited was irrevocable underwriting agreement in accordance with the enabling  statutes between Spring Bank Plc and NSL could not be established because you failed to  provide a copy of an executed underwriting agreement between the bank and NSL.

“Your assertion that the offer of an underwriting facility could be construed and treated in  a similar manner as an underwriting commitment could not also be substantiated while your  promise to provide evidence as requested by the CBN has not been complied with up till the  time of writing this letter…”

The statement further added that the account referred to was an internal suspense account  created by the bank which does not qualify as a customer’s operating account moreso, when  NSL did not open any account with the bank at this time in question.

According to the CBN, the conditions precedent to drawdown in the purported account of the  NSL and Strand Capital Partners Limited were not met, which meant that the two companies and  their owners have no basis to claim the N5.2bn which is still intact in the bank in the form  of customers’ deposits.