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FG Probes Defunct Skye Bank Directors, May Begin Trial Soon

By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian authorities have commenced investigation into the role of directors of the defunct Skye Bank Plc in the financial mess of the company.

Over a week ago, Skye Bank was nationalised into Polaris Bank Limited by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The lender collapsed after it could no longer meet its basic functions, resulting in the revocation of its operating license.

Business Post reports that the central bank had taken over affairs of the financial institution in 2016 following its huge non-performing loans (NPLs).

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Speaking last week in Lagos, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr Umaru Ibrahim, said a former chairman of Skye Bank, Mr Tunde Ayeni, as well as a director of the defunct bank, Mr Festus Fadeyi, were being investigated by government.

He said as soon as investigation was finalised, the necessary action would be taken and those found culpable severely dealt with.

“They are being investigated and I can assure you that when the time comes, the necessary security and law enforcement agencies would do their work,” the NDIC chief said on the sidelines of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) Africa Regional Committee (ARC) workshop in Lagos last Wednesday.

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It was alleged that Mr Ayeni and Fadeyi contributed to the downfall of the firm by borrowing huge amount of money that were never repaid.

While Mr Ayeni was said to have borrowed billions of Naira from the firm to fund the acquisitions of the Ibadan and Yola Electricity Distribution Companies; NITEL/M-Tel; and an energy services firm, Ascot Offshore Nigeria Limited; Mr Fadeyi, was accused of using Pan Ocean to obtain loans to fund the firm’s oil and gas upstream projects which were considered as one of the major non-performing loans amongst others.

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It was said that the funds pulled out of Skye Bank allegedly by the duo and others led to the total collapse of the bank.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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