New Management teams take over Union, Polaris, Keystone banks

Ogunsakin Mustapha
4 Min Read

In a move to avoid any managerial and administrative vacuum, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has swiftly appointed new management teams for Union Bank, Keystone Bank and Polaris Bank whose boards and management were dissolved on Wednesday.

Although all appointments are interim, Yetunde Oni takes over Managing Director of Union Bank while Mannir Ubali Ringim is the Executive Director. The interim managers for Keystone are Hassan Imam, who is the Managing Director and Chioma A. Mang who is appointed as the Executive Director. Lawal Mudathir Omokayode Akintola is the managing director for Polaris and Chris Onyeka Ofikulu is the executive director.

Their appointment takes immediate effect, and they are to oversee the affairs of the three banks whose boards and management were dissolved on Wednesday after a meeting between them, the Special Investigator, Jim Obazee, and the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso.

The team of the Special Investigator and that of the CBN are expected meet with the shareholders of the banks for further discussions, stated a source close to the Apex bank. The dissolution of the boards and management of the banks on Wednesday came on the heels of a meeting held on Monday by Obazee, Cardoso and the four deputy governors during which the issue of the takeover of the four banks was discussed.

Tinubu’s Special Investigator in the report of his investigation on the apex bank noted that the Federal government had secured documents, on which investigation reports would lead to the acquisition of Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank which he accused former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele of using proxies to acquire as well as Keystone Bank that were acquired without any evidence of payment.

“We have completed our investigation on these acquisitions and have also held meetings with the relevant parties except for Mr. Cornelis Vink, who is currently hospitalized in Switzerland’, ” said Obazee in the report. Otherwise, we are on the verge of recovering the banks for the federal government,” Obazee reportedly said.

It would be recalled that the chairman of Titan Trust Bank, Babatunde Lemo had at the twilight of last year issued a seven-day ultimatum to the investors in Titan Trust Bank to prove their ownership of the bank as well as the proof of the funds for the acquisition of Union Bank.

The investors, both Cornelius Vinks and Rahul Savara failed to show proof as of the deadline and also, on two occasions refused to honour the invitation to a meeting with the Special Investigator. The refusal of the trio of Lemo, Vinks and Savara to attend the meeting on December 28 and the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum by the Titan Trust Bank chairman indicated that they may have agreed to forfeit both Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank.

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