N23bn Scandal: Fidelity Bank Appoints Balarabe Acting MD

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[caption id="attachment_7921" align="alignnone" width="640"]IMAGE CREDIT: NaijAlhaji Mohammed Lawal Balarabe, Fidelity Bank Acting MD [/caption]

Following the continued detention of its troubled CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank Plc on Monday appointed Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Balarabe as its acting MD/CEO.

In a statement released by the bank yesterday, the board said the decision followed “the absence of the substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer”, noting that though Balarabe’s appointment is with immediate effect, it was subject to regulatory approval.

“In the absence of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Board of Directors has appointed Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Balarabe, Executive Director North as Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive of Fidelity Bank Plc with immediate effect subject to regulatory approval,” the statement read.

“The bank reassures all its stakeholders including over 400,000 shareholders and 3.4 million customers of its continued seamless services.”

Until his appointment, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Balarabe was the bank’s Executive Director North.

Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo is currently being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for allegedly receiving N23bn from former Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The EFCC alleged that the money was used to bribe INEC officials ahead of the 2015 general election.

The bank which has been in the eye of the storm, following the arrest and detention of Okonkwo, released a statement last week noting that the transactions were duly reported as required by the regulators and that it is “cooperating fully with the authorities on the investigation”.

“Our 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),” the statement read.

“We assure our numerous stakeholders, including our customers, that we are working assiduously towards a quick resolution of the issues.”