CBN sacks First Bank, FBN Holdco boards, recalls Adeduntan
…reconstitutes interim board for both institutions
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday removed the entire members of the board of First Bank Nigeria Ltd and FBN Holdings Plc.
The regulatory bank had on Wednesday issued a query to the board of the First Bank to explain the reason it removed its Chief Executive Officer, Adesola Adeduntan and replaced him with his erstwhile deputy, Gbenga Shobo without regulatory consultation and approval.
The CBN also directed that the bank recover the insider debt owed by the chairman of the FBN Holdco within 48 hours of risk regulatory sanction.
The CBN had also faulted the appointment of Abdullahi Ibrahim as deputy managing director, as well as the appointment of Ini Ebong, Segun Alebiosu, Seyi Oyefeso and Bashirat Odunewu, as executive directors.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, however, announced in Abuja the sacking of all members of the board of the bank and the constitution of an interim board to clean up the large lender and stabilise the company.
Emefiele also ordered the reinstatement of Adeduntan as the MD/CEO of the bank.
Remi Babalola is the interim chairman of the Holding company, other members include, Peter Aliugo, Fatade Oluwole, Kofo Dosekun, Remi Lasaki, Alimi Abdulrasaq, Ahmed Modibo, Khalifa Iman.
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The apex bank, however, directed U.K Eke to remain the group CEO of FBN Holdings Plc
Tunde Hassan Odukale is the new chairman of First Bank Limited, other members are Tokunbo Martins, Uche Nwokedi, Adekunle Sonola, Isioma Ogodazi, Ebenezer Olufowose, Ishaya Dodo, Sola Adeduntan as managing director, Remi Oni, Gbenga Sobo.
The CBN had on Wednesday questioned the rationale behind the removal of the Chief executive officer of First Bank Limited, Adesola Adeduntan and the announcement of a replacement without regulatory approval.
However, in a memo dated April 28, 2021, signed by the CBN Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, the regulatory bank asked the chairman of the bank Ibukun Awosika to provide a comprehensive reason for the removal of the erstwhile chief executive eight months to the expiry of his tenure.
“The CBN was not made aware of any report from the board indicting the Managing Director of any wrong-doing or misconduct; there appears to be no apparent justification for the precipitate removal.
“We are particularly concerned because the action is coming at a time the CBN has provided various regulatory forbearances and liquidity support to reposition the bank, which has enhanced its asset quality, capital adequacy and liquidity ratios amongst other prudential indicators.
“It is also curious to observe that the sudden removal of the MD/CEO was done about eight months to the expiry of his second tenure, which is due on December 31, 2021,” the CBN director said in the memo to Awosika.
The CBN said the removal of a sitting MD/CEO of a systemically important bank, “that has been under regulatory forbearance for five to six years without prior consultation and justifiable basis,” has dire implications for the bank and also portends significant risks to the stability of the financial system.