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Heritage Bank Clarifies N13Bn Fraud Involvement

ugo onwuaso

 Mr. Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc, has denied involvement in the alleged diversion of N13 billion belonging to the Oyo State Government.

Reports have it that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was after the bank’s MD Ifie Sekibo, for ignoring invitations by the commission.

We learnt that N13bn belonging to the Oyo State Government was said to have been lodged in some secret accounts in the bank through some government officials. EFCC source said: “We recently got information about some suspicious accounts in Heritage Bank. We believe the funds in the accounts are part of the proceeds of crime, particularly money laundering and outright diversion of public funds.

“We received intelligence reports from some concerned citizens that the money, which is about N13bn was diverted from Oyo State between 2014 and 2015 and the money found its way into some secret accounts fraudulently manipulated by top management of Heritage Bank on behalf of some prominent government officials of Oyo State.

“The money was deposited in a secret fixed account with an agreement to share the accrued interest among them.”

But the bank in a statement yesterday said categorically and unequivocally that neither Mr. Ifie Sekibo nor any member of the management staff of the bank was being investigated by the EFCC on a N13 billion fraud.

The statement read thus: Our attention has been drawn to Sunday Punch Newspaper and other online news (Sunday 27th August) report of an alleged N13billion fraud involving the Managing Director and other staff members of the bank of funds belonging to the Oyo State government.

The Management will want to categorically and unequivocally state that neither the Mr. Ifie Sekibo nor any member of the management staff of the bank is being investigated by the EFCC on a N13billion fraud.

Contrary to the false report by some news platforms, the EFCC had informed the bank of an account  being investigated by the agency.

Over the last week, the bank has fully cooperated with EFCC by providing various documentation and also presented its staff in this regard.

Management finds it distasteful, unethical and unprofessional of these media houses to tarnish the image of Mr Ifie Sekibo – MD/CEO and the bank.

We urge the general public to disregard the article in its entirety