Access Bank Plc has denied its group managing director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of fraud.
Some online media had reported the Access Bank boss was arrested in connection with the assets of former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, alleged money laundering for former Petroleum Minister, Deziani Allison-Madueke, as well as alleged inflation of contracts linked to former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last Friday by the Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, the lender denied the reports.
It stressed that its officials were only invited for interrogation over credit facilities availed Slok Nigeria Limited (owned by Orji Uzor Kalu) by the defunct Diamond Bank plc (which Access Bank had inherited following its merger with Diamond Bank) and which were secured by Slok’s assets charged to Diamond Bank.
The bank further explained the issues had been resolved.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a trending report on social media regarding the alleged arrest of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc (Access Bank) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (“the Commission”).
“We wish to state that the issue essentially relates to the credit facilities that were availed Slok Nigeria Limited (“Slok”) by the defunct Diamond Bank plc (“Diamond”) and which were secured by Slok’s assets charged to Diamond. Access Bank had inherited the Slok credit following the recent merger of Diamond with Access Bank.
“Given the differing interest of the Commission and the Bank on the assets of Slok deriving from the court’s recent judgment on Slok, the Commission had invited for interrogation officials of Access Bank who were handling the Bank’s recovery efforts on Slok credit including its Group Managing Director.
“Following fruitful engagement between the Bank and the Commission, we are of the opinion that the issues relating to Slok investigation have been resolved.
“As an institution built on best practice, we wish to assure our esteemed stakeholders that the Bank will continue to conduct its business in line with extant laws and relations.”