ETranzact Denies Financial Fraud, Makes Management Changes

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Emma Okonji

The management of eTranzact, a mobile banking and payment services company has announced a fresh management change. This is just as the company denied allegations of financial fraud leveled against its management staff, which prompted the financial regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to order its management staff to resign with immediate effect.

Announcing the new management change on Monday, the management of eTranzact said the change was not connected with the allegation of financial fraud allegedly committed by its former Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Valentine Obi in connivance with other management staff.

Although the management of eTranzact admitted there was fraud carried out by some merchants on the company’s platform, it however did not trace it to its management staff, as alleged.
Clarifying the alleged fraud leveled against the former CEO, the company’s Brand and Media Manager, Adeyemi Opene said the former CEO and some management staff had to resign because the fraud was committed under their watch, hence the need for the appointment of an acting Managing Director/CEO, in person of Mr. Niyi Toluwalope.

According to him, a particular merchant who had access to eTranzact payment platform, was involved in the fraud and was able to move customers’ money to different accounts, without the money reflecting in the bank’s payment system. He however said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had since waded into the matter and has recovered over 70 per cent of the diverted funds.

According to eTranzct statement on the management changes,
Mr. Valentine Obi, Managing Director of the Company will be stepping down and Mr. Niyi Toluwalope will be taking over as the Managing Director in acting capacity. Until his appointment, Mr. Niyi Toluwalope was the Chief Financial Officer, a position he has held since 2011. Other executive positions affected by the management changes are: Executive Directors -Mr. Sullivan Akala and Mr. Ike Eze; Chief Technology Officer – Mr. Richard Omoniyi and Head of Operations – Mr. Kehinde Segun.

eTranzact is aware of recent reports about these management changes and wishes to announce that the changes are strictly eTranzact Board’s decision, and would like to advise all its stakeholders that it is working closely with the regulators, and all other relevant stakeholders to resolve any issue related to or arising from the management changes.

In addition, we want to categorically state that there was no fraud in eTranzact International Plc, however a merchant used the company’s interface with a bank to perpetrate fraud. The eTranzact executives resigned honorably because they have the responsibility for governance in the company. Also, there is no truth about PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) or Ernst & Young reviewing the Accounts of the Company. eTranzact retains PwC from time to time for various technology related assignments and none has to do with reviewing the Company’s Accounts, eYranzact said in a statement.

The ISO certifcations are a testament to eTranzact’s focus in adopting and implementing global and best practices to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, confidentiality and integrity in its day to day operations. This marks the beginning of a new journey for the company, the statement added.
The CBN, it was gathered, has appointed auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Ernst & Young to go through the books of e-Tranzact.
The N11 billion fraud allegation comes from a petition written in March 2018 by Michael Osasogie Obasuyi, who is also the managing director of Smartmicro Systems Limited, to the EFCC against the mobile and electronic company provider.