Probe of Alleged N13bn Diversion Belonging to Oyo State, Not Targeted at Heritage MD

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Contrary to speculations that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is after the Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, over the diversion of an alleged N13 billion belonging to the Oyo State Government, it was gathered that there is no truth in the report.

An official of the EFCC familiar with the investigation dismissed the speculations as a figment of the imagination,  of those behind it, insisting that the investigation has nothing to do with the MD of Heritage Bank as an individual, rather routine investigation into possible red flags on an account with the bank.

“Investigation into accounts are routine matter which the EFCC and other anti-graft bodies undertake now and then.

“Once a letter or inquiry is received from any of the anti-graft bodies usually to the top management, it is directed to the appropriate quarters in this instance, the relationship and compliance managers who will deal with it. To concoct stories that the MD is wanted over a matter that even the Oyo State government has denied knowledge of is unfortunate,” said the official who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak. 

THISDAY also learnt that Sekibo has been out of the country for medical check-up for quite a while, “a fact which the EFCC is aware of, and with answers provided as to the letter of the agency, one wonders how anybody could say the MD is wanted. Tomorrow, it is the same people who would accuse the EFCC of media trial when they report inaccuracies.”  

A newspaper had yesterday reported that the Heritage MD was wanted by the EFCC for failing to honour their invitation over allegations into diversion of N13 billion by some unnamed officials of the Oyo State government into their private accounts.

However, spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, has confirmed that investigations into accounts are routine.

“It is true that some of our people went to the bank but it was a routine investigation. They went to get documents in relation to the investigation. I cannot say more than that for now,” Uwujaren was quoted as saying.

Speaking on record, the Group Head, Corporate Communication, Heritage Bank, Mr. Fela Ibidapo, said: “There is no management fraud. There is a customer’s account that the EFCC is interested in and the normal thing is to talk to the account officer. They are just investigating an account entry. They have invited the relationship manager. It is still being investigated and for confidential issues I can’t divulge more than that.”