BEVERLY HILLS, August 26, (THEWILL) – One of Nigeria’s top lenders, Zenith Bank Plc. is under fire for allegedly helping Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike launder at least 100 billion naira since 2015 from the state’s treasury.
Zenith’s Group Managing Director, GMD, Mr. Peter Amangbo was weekend taken into custody by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for failing to properly document the suspicious transactions and report them to authorities as required by the Money Laundering Act 2011.
THEWILL gathered that Amangbo has been in EFCC custody in Abuja since Friday.
Details of the investigation leaked to the press by sources in the EFCC said N117 billion have been withdrawn in cash by officials at various times since June 2015 and that Zenith made N5.2 billion from fees and finance charges.
The withdrawals were made in N10m tranches with 50 cheques posting in one day in several instances, according to the leaker.
Apart from Amangbo, the EFCC is seeking an official in charge of Finance and Accounts at the Government House, Similari Fubara and a cashier amongst others to grill.
Nigerian financial institutions are notorious for aiding officials and corrupt persons launder illicit funds due to institutional weaknesses.
Zenith and EFCC are yet to officially react to the development but Wike in a statement Sunday warned the agency to stay off Rivers finances warning that it would frustrate the investigation.
“We are not afraid of their probe and they have no power to probe us.
“No government official will appear before the EFCC until they set aside the court judgment of Rivers State Government against them in 2007. We cannot be intimidated.
“They filed for leave to appeal the judgment at the Court of Appeal. Until they set aside the judgment, we will not come,” Wike said.