Business

Zenith, Jaiz Banks MDs Not Arrested By EFCC

Zenith Bank Plc and Jaiz Bank Plc have refuted claims of the arrest of their Group Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, and Managing Director, Haruna Musa, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

On January 9, 2024, media reports suggested that the EFCC had detained the CEOs of Zenith, Jaiz, and Providus Banks. However, in a statement on Wednesday, Zenith Bank’s company secretary and general counsel, Michael Otu, declared the reports to be “entirely false and inaccurate.”

“We have become aware of inaccurate reports circulating on social media and certain news outlets alleging that Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the group managing director/chief executive officer of Zenith Bank Plc, was arrested and held by the EFCC on January 9, 2024, in connection with an alleged fraud at the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation,” Otu said.

“We wish to clarify that these reports are entirely false. The group managing director was not arrested or detained by the EFCC or any other anti-graft agency and is currently fulfilling his duties at the bank.

“We are issuing this public statement to dispel the misinformation and ensure that the public and our stakeholders are accurately informed.”

Likewise, Jaiz Bank Plc issued a statement in Abuja yesterday, clarifying that the anti-graft agency merely sought specific documents for its ongoing investigation into the operations of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. The bank explained that its Managing Director visited the EFCC on Tuesday to submit the requested documents, engaged in discussions with officials, and promptly returned to his office.

It said, “The bank would like to place on record that yesterday Jaiz Bank at the request of the EFCC has submitted some documents relating to accounts opened by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to help the agency in its investigations of the activities of the Ministry. The interaction was very cordial and Jaiz Bank MD immediately resumed back to his duties.

“It’s instructive to state that Jaiz Bank in October 2023 was among the financial institutions that were selected by the Ministry as a participating financial institution for the various intervention programs of the Federal Government of Nigeria after a competitive bid, in line with the FGN procurement act.

“The Bank was formerly instructed to open a project account by the Ministry but is yet to receive any funding into the account.

“Jaiz Bank remains committed to contributing to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy through the provision of alternative financing options ethically and professionally.”

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