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EFCC uncovers N23bn scam in Oceanic Bank - Slams money laundering charge on Ibru, 2 others - Begins

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigating the alleged massive insider abuse in the banking sector have reportedly uncovered an alleged N23 billion money laundering scam in Oceanic Bank.

Oceanic Bank is one of the eight banks that had their management teams sacked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the wake of alleged unethical practices in the industry.

The aftermath of the discovery, according to sources in the commission, has seen fresh money laundering charges being prepared against the sacked Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mrs Cecilia Ibru and two others.

They are Dele Oye, a legal practitioner, and Nana Shetu Bedeni, a nanny to the Ibru family.

In order to make them face the law, the commission is also said to have commenced their repatriation from abroad where they reportedly fled following the arrest of Mrs. Ibru over the alleged unethical practice in the running of the bank.

She is being prosecuted alongside 13 former bank chiefs sacked by the apex bank in five banks during the first round of the sanitisation exercise in the industry.

It was further gathered that the commission had also added former Group Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola to the extradition list.

Akingbola left the country for the United Kingdom following his removal by the apex bank and has since been declared wanted by the anti-graft commission.

Commission’s spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed that the commission was working hard on cases involving all the individuals mentioned.

According to him “I don’t have the details you referred to, but I know that the commission is working hard on the cases of some individuals you referred to”.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that fresh facts dug up by the commission’s operatives revealed that Mrs. Ibru was allegedly using Dele Oye and Nana Bedeni as fronts to launder investors’ and depositors’ funds to her personal purse.

Sources disclosed that Waves Nigeria Ltd, a company allegedly owned by Ibru’s son, who was a director in the bank, was allegedly used in laundering the N23 billion sum, even though its shares capital during registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission {CAC}was just one million shares, and by law, should not receive money beyond its share capital capacity.

The ownership of the company was said to have been relinquished by Ibru’s son to Bedei and Oye in 2006, with Mrs. Ibru allegedly paying 110 million dollars (about N16.9b) and N6 billion to the company almost immediately the duo took over the ownership of the company.

The company under the leadership of the duo was said to have paid 10 million dollars (N1.5bn) to Mrs. Ibru’s private bank account, after the N23 billion payment was made.

Sources added that the commission’s operatives also discovered that the company was awarded a contract by Oceanic leadership under Mrs. Ibru to build its corporate headquarters, with documents allegedly found with the bank showing that the payments made to the company was for the project.

It was further learnt that documents from Waves allegedly showed that it owned the building while Oceanic would just be a tenant, though the land on which the property is being built was allegedly discovered to belong to the Ibru family.

Though the said property is still said to be under construction, documents found exhumed by the commission’s operatives showed that Oceanic had already paid 22 million dollars (N3.4bn) for 10 years rent to Waves Ltd for the uncompleted building.

Findings of the commission’s operatives reportedly showed that the Ibru leadership at Oceanic paid rent for a property that was paid for and still under construction, with one of the sources saying that “The whole deal was designed to just siphon shareholders and depositors monies into private accounts and that is why they would face a fresh money laundering trial”.

Ibru is currently on conditional bail, with sources in the anti-graft commission revealing that she would be arraigned in Lagos next week over the alleged money laundering.

The commission, it was learnt, would also apply to the court for the repatriation of her co-accused during her fresh arraignment.

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