FirstBank: I Acted in Honour, Integrity, Says Awosika

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By Obinna Chima

The sacked Chairman of First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, has said that she acted in honour and integrity with the interest of the institution, all its stakeholders and the nation during her 11-year reign at the bank.

Awosika, wrote this in an article she titled: “My FBN Group Journey,” posted on instagram, a social media platform.

The CBN had last Thursday removed all directors of First Bank Nigeria Limited and those of its parent company, FBN Holdings Plc to stave off a boardroom crisis that led to the short-lived retirement of Adeduntan, that was announced by Awosika on Wednesday.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had subsequently announced the reinstatement of Adeduntan, who resumed on Friday, reassuring depositors and shareholders of the safety of their funds and investment.

But Awosika explained: “As a board, we acted in what we clearly believed to be in the interest of the bank and we had great plans and aspirations for where the bank could go to in its future, building on all the work that has already been done in the last five plus years.

“Without a shadow of doubt, I will unequivocally state that I have acted in honour and integrity with the utmost interest of the institution, all our stakeholders and the nation.”

She revealed that in October 2010, she was appointed to join the board of the bank and few month later, she was also appointed to chair the board of its start-up, FBN Life Insurance Limited (a joint venture with Sanlam of South Africa).

“For five years, I worked with a dedicated team of board of management with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria to rebuild and restructure the institution for its future.

“This included cleaning up non-performing loans, establishing good operational governance systems and processes, building controls and an effective and robust risk management system.

“I am confident that we have brought First Bank of Nigeria to a place where it is more than able to deliver utmost value to its stakeholders and nation at large,” she added.

Emefiele had announced the appointment of a former Minister of State for Finance and former Executive Director of First Bank, Mr. Remi Babalola, as chairman of FBN Holdings. He took over from Mr. Oba Otudeko who was ousted by the banking sector regulator.
Other new directors on the FBN Holdings’ board are Fatade Oluwole, Kofo Dosekun, Remi Lasaki, Alimi Abdulrasaq, Ahmed Modibbo, Khalifa Imam and Peter Aliogo.

Mr. UK Eke retained his position as Managing Director of FBN Holdings.
First Bank Nigeria Limited’s new Chairman is Tunde Hassan-Odukale, who replaced Awosika. Other board members are Tokunbo Martins, Uche Nwokedi, Adekunle Sonola, Isioma Ogodazi, Ebenezer Olufowose, Ishaya Elijah B. Dodo and Adeduntan. Gbenga Shobo, deputy managing director; and Remi Oni and Abdullahi Ibrahim, executive directors, are members of the reconstituted board.