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How vested interests within the bank secured bail for errant staff through the back door

Heritage Bank may crash and burn if mischief-makers could attach the lasso of truth to the rumours about it. The centre refuses to hold for the bank as a widening gyre of mayhem and distrust envelops the bank.

Stuck in the eye of the storm, the Managing Director (MD) of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, has his hands full as he grapples with the odds hurling his administration towards the tipping point.

At the heel of a clampdown on the bank by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over alleged shady dealings by Mike Danneil, the Principal Officer of the bank’s FINCON arm, MD Sekibo is forced to operate in an atmosphere of panic, taking frantic decisions to steer the bank clear of trouble. Panic has indeed  invaded the halls of Heritage Bank.

Rumour has it that EFCC swooped on the bank after it discovered that the so-called Mike had failed to remit monies belonging to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) into the federation account. This has reportedly led to a bad situation.

This is not the first time that Heritage Bank would be caught in the heat of a financial storm and ethical impropriety; just recently, Sekibo completely lost his cool and threw caution to the winds as he grappled to retrieved a bad debt from one of the bank’s biggest customers.

Anger became an effective negotiating tool to the bank’s MD and the last resort to save his job as he instructed his underlings to go for broke against the Anambra political godfather and recent contender for the state’s forthcoming gubernatorial polls Senator Andy Uba who is contesting under the banner of ruling APC.

Sekibo was forced to take such drastic action after enduring in silence for years, the eminent politician’s refusal to refund a very big loan taken from the bank until it became non-performing and very bad debt.

On Monday, June 21, and on Sekibo’s watch, a motley crew of protesters from Heritage Bank stormed the politician’s residence in Abuja, in a supposedly peaceful protest. The intent, according to the protesters was to peacefully urge the debtor to settle his debt with the bank. His failure, to do that, they argued, would result in job losses for the bank employees keeping vigil in front of his house.

Predictably, the move incited criticism within and outside the banking and political sectors as several stakeholders and leaders of thought condemned the measure as unruly and very unprofessional conduct.

It would be recalled that  Sekibo was in trouble years back alongside Kolapo Daisi and other staff, over issues of financial impropriety but they were reportedly let loose after receiving help by a certain Kabiru Tukura, after favours were exchanged.

Now, that Heritage Bank is in the eye of the storm again, vested interests within the bank have reportedly sought Tukura’s help; although he is no longer in the system, Tukura has reportedly made a call to his colleagues, calling in favour in the interest of his friends in Heritage Bank.

Although the bank’s staff on the EFCC’s radar, has reportedly been granted bail, in the wake of intervention by vested interests within its management, the storm isn’t over for Heritage Bank and its beleaguered MD, Sekibo.

Let’s hope someone would avail him of a winning formula and steer him on the path to saving the bank from eventual collapse.

The Capital

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