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Ayeni, Ex-Skye Bank Chair, Others in Court over Alleged N25Bn Fraud



Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Tunde Ayeni, former chairman, Board of Directors, Skye Bank Plc, before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court, (FHC) Abuja on a 10-count charge, bordering on money laundering to the tune of about N25.4 billion.


Ayeni was arraigned along with Timothy Ajani Oguntayo and two companies, Control Dredging Company Ltd and Royaltex paramount Ventures Ltd, for allegedly conspiring at different times to fraudulently divert depositors’ funds domiciled at the defunct Skye Bank Plc.


One of the counts reads: “That you, Tunde Ayeni, whilst being Chairman, Board of Directors of the defunct Skye Bank Plc and Timothy Ajani Oguntayo while being the Managing Director, MD, of the defunct Skye Bank Plc, on or about 24th December, 2014 at Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of this Honourable Court did conspire to commit an offence to wit, money laundering by transferring the sum of N3,000,000,000 from the defunct Skye Bank Plc Suspense account to the First City Monument Bank Plc of Control Dredging Company Limited, which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under Section 15(2)(b) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).”


They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.


Wale Akonni, SAN, counsel for the first, third and fourth defendants, thereafter, moved the bail applications for his clients arguing that the charges were bailable.


Similar application was moved by Dele Adesina, SAN, counsel for the second defendant, for his client.


Abba Mohamed, counsel for the EFCC, however, raised objections to the applications for bail.


After listening to the arguments, Justice Ojukwu, admitted the first and second defendants bail in the sum of N100 million and two sureties in like sum, who must be residents of Abuja with landed property.


They are also to present tax clearances for 2016, 2017 and 2018, all of which must be verified by the court registrar.


The case has been adjourned to May 27, 28 and June 4, 2019. It will be recalled that Ayeni and Oguntayo were on March 6, 2019 also arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Apo, on a separate four-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust to the tune of N4,597,500,000.


Earlier, on December 17 2018, the duo were arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the FHC sitting in Abuja. Justice Dimgba has been transferred to Asaba Division of the FHC. 1 minute FREE VIDEO Reveals How to Stop Hairloss & Balding, then regrows new hairs Click Here: To Enlarge Your Manhood Size By An Extra 3.7 Inches In 28 Days,Get A Rock Hard Erection Now,& Last Over 32 M


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CBN Predicts 3 pct GDP Growth in 2019



The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, expects the economy to pick up in 2019, forecasting a gross domestic product growth of 3 percent, up from 1.9 percent recorded last year, its governor Godwin Emefiele said.

Emefiele said the bank would maintain its tight monetary stance in 2019, and sees inflation at 11.31 percent in February and rising to 12 percent this year before moderating.

The governor, who is set to step down in June, told an economic conference in Lagos that the economy would see more growth as the recovery is becoming self-sustaining.

Economic growth has been recovering since the third quarter of 2016, when the recession bottomed out. Higher oil prices helped Nigeria exit that contraction. In 2018, the economy grew at its fastest pace since the recession.

Emefiele expects volatility in the crude oil market to put pressure on the currency but the central bank would maintain its stance on exchange rate over the next year.

He said more than $6 billion had flowed into the local bond market since last month’s presidential election as foreign investors piled into debt to lock in yields as high as 14 percent.

Bond investors had been worried elections would turn violent, not about who won. President Muhammadu Buhari has favoured a strong and stable currency, which bondholders hope will continue.

Buhari won a second term in charge of Africa’s biggest economy in February, defeating his pro-business rival Atiku Abubakar who had touted privatizations and float the currency as some of the ways to grow the economy.


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Andrew Dell, Ex-CEO of HSBC Africa Now Senior Advisor to Asoko Insight



Asoko Insight, Africa’s leading corporate information platform, is delighted to announce the appointment of Andrew Dell as Senior Advisor.


As part of its 2019 plan to introduce leading-edge digital tools for global banks to identify and onboard African companies, Asoko Insight has brought on board Andrew Dell as Senior Advisor.


African banks and global investors endure significant challenges when it comes to the efficiency of industry sizing, lead generation, on-boarding, and KYC processes. In his role, Andrew will help expand Asoko’s Verify Africa platform among banks and private equity firms active across the continent, supporting their objectives to reduce due diligence costs and grow their pan-African footprint.


Rob Withagen, CEO, Asoko Insight said:  “Andrew’s experience and track record are second to none and we’re thrilled to have him on board. He brings a robust knowledge of the KYC and compliance issues that African banks face and which Asoko aims to overcome.”


Andrew Dell, Senior Advisor, Asoko Insight said, “Sourcing reliable information to identify, verify and onboard corporate clients across Africa is time-consuming and expensive. Asoko’s purpose-built solutions are addressing the challenge by providing enterprise-access to instant, accurate and up-to-date information on the continent’s leading growth markets, businesses and the people who run them.”



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Founder Open Vector to Address Nigerian Bankers on Open Banking Opportunities



Carlos Figueredo, CEO and founder of Open Vector, a professional consultancy firm founded in 2017 with its forte in open banking, PSD2, GDPR and payments, he has consented to headline the Open Banking Masterclass, one of the key attractions of Lagos Fintech Week on April 23, 2019, in Lagos-Nigeria, West Africa.

According to the statement signed by the chairman organizing committee, Dr. Yele Okeremi, Lagos Fintech Week [LFW] is an invigorating week of distinct FinTech events that delivers exciting discussions, stimulating demos and insightful debates. “It is scheduled for April 23-26, 2019 at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos”, he said.

He explained that Open Banking is a trend that is poised to transform how banking is done over the next decade. While only a few countries have started or are in the process of starting. The traction is so strong and it is expected that this trend will become dominant in five years.

“Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind, as we have had various conversations whether we should have open banking, how we should do it, and what are the benefits. This is why we are bringing an expert of Carlos’ status who has wealth of experience and fundamentals of the needs for Open Banking to lead the Masterclass at Lagos Fintech Week in April”.

He pointed out that Figueredo is a recognised open banking SME with over 20 years’ experience in payments, SWIFT, SEPA and PSD2 and started open banking in 2016 as the Head of Data Standards for the UK Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE).

Dr. Okeremi said that Figueredo oversaw the ISO 20022 based standard development and the relevant technical elements needed to integrate it across the array of product-based API’s for OBIE, which was the first initiative globally in the banking sector, or any other sector, to have done so.

“In quarter three of 2018 Open Vector was granted by the British Embassy of Mexico City and the Prosperity Fund a component of phase 1 of the Fintech Law delivery. Carlos worked alongside the CNBV (National Banking and Securities Commission) to develop and implement the data standards, which will go live in April 2019.


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