Following over a week of detention, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday evening released the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo. Okonkwo was alleged to have received $115 million in deposits to the bank from former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke and allegedly helped to disburse money from this to electoral officials.
Okonkwo was picked up for failing to report the matter to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, as required by the law. However, the management of the bank last week said the transactions were duly reported as required by the regulators. A very reliable source close to the bank confirmed Okonkwo’s release on Thursday evening to Daily Times. It was however not certain as at Thursday night whether Okonkwo will return to his position as Managing Director.
The bank had on Tuesday named Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Balarabe as acting Managing Director subject to regulatory approval. Balarabe was until his appointment the Executive Director, North, Fidelity Bank. Recall that in a statement on Okonkwo’s arrest last week, the management of Fidelity Bank said its “attention has been drawn to reports in the media on investigations into transactions undertaken by the Bank in the normal course of business in 2015.”
“The transactions are now the subject matter of investigations by the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). “We can confirm that the transactions were duly reported as required by the regulators and the Bank is cooperating fully with the authorities on the investigation. “We assure our numerous stakeholders, including our customers that we are working assiduously towards a quick resolution of the issues, the bank added.