How Saraki, Others’ Unpaid Loans Led To Liquidation Of Intercontinental Bank, Akingbola’s Prosecution–EFCC Witness

* Senate President,Dr Bukola Saraki * Pix source: BuzzNigeria



Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi


A Federal High Court, Lagos, today, was told how intrigues over billions of Naira loans taken by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his father, Dr Olusola Saraki and others from the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, led to the takeover of the bank and the prosecution of the bank’s former managing director, Dr. Erastus Akingbola.

Akingbola is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an amended 22 counts charge.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, the prosecution witness, Mr. Abdulraham Jimoh, while being cross examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), admitted that a company linked to the Senate President, Dicetrade Nigeria Limited, was indebted to Intercontinental Bank Plc, in the sum of N1, 892, 313, 792. 14 billion.

Other companies said to be indebted to the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc include, Joy Petroleum in the sum of N3. 932 billion; Linker. N3 ,693,988.99 billion and United Alliance Company of Nigeria Limited, whose directors are Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe, the current Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, who owes the sum of N14.5 billion, N14.27 billion and N10.97 billion respectively.

The EFCC witness, who was the Chief Investigator of the bank, also admitted that another company linked to the Senate President’s father, Late Olusola Saraki, Skyview Properties, was indebted to the bank to the tune of N2.88 billion.

The witness when asked by Olanipekun (SAN) if he was aware that Lai Alabi took over from Akingbola, in order to write off all the indebtedness because people involved were closed to him.

He said he was only aware that Alabi wrote off some nonperforming loans and granted weavers for some.

When further probed if the loans were collateralised, and if he was aware that Lai Alabi was the former Managing Director of Saraki’s Songai Farms before he was appointed as the managing director of Intercontinental Bank Plc. The witness said he was not aware if the loans were collateralised and if Alabi was former managing director Saraki’s Farms.

The witness when asked if the loan taken by Akingbola’s Tropic Securities and Tropic Properties, were queried by anyone in the bank before his investigation into the bank. The witness said the loans were only queried after he submitted his report to Lai Alabi.

When asked if he was aware if the loans taken from the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc by a company, Regal Finance Limited were repaid, he said ICNL was debited in favour of Regal.

When asked which of the two banks, Intercontinental Bank and Access Bank has the largest capital base and branch network, the witness in affirmative said Intercontinental,.

On why should Intercontinental Bank be collapsed for Access Bank, he said that was not part of his investigation.




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