Naira Hoarding: Sterling Bank In Fresh Trouble, Faults ICPC’s Arrest Of 2 Staff
Few days after Sterling Bank defended allegation of hoarding new N200 notes in the vault of its Ekiti branch office, the bank on the evening of Tuesday February 8, 2023, faced similar ‘charges’ at its Abuja regional office and other Federal Capital Territory branches.
Sterling Bank, in a communication, admitted that ICPC invited two of its staff for questioning in respect of the naira hoarding allegation.
The new allegation, this time coming from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), hinted of the bank deliberately withholding new naira notes from customers, two days away from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) February 10 deadline for return of old notes.
ICPC had, on Tuesday evening, tweeted that it discovered millions of new naira notes in Sterling Bank’s Abuja offices, an allegation the bank denied in a statement.
Sterling Bank Respond ICPC’s Allegations
But the bank in a carefully crafted response to the naira hoarding allegation early Wednesday evening, said it complied with all complied with all guidelines on distribution of redesigned notes from inception to date.
What the bank is saying:
OUR ABUJA REGIONAL OFFICE
This report is developed for the purpose of providing the true representation of events to the narrative as expressed by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in a tweet late on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
- A regulatory monitoring team visited our Abuja Central Business District (CBD) Complex on February 3, 2023.
- The monitoring team, in the company of the branch service manager and other staﬀ, inspected and observed the following꞉
- The branch’s ATMs were dispensing all denominations of the newly designed notes.
- The branch was in full compliance with the regulator’s recommendations on Over ‑ The‑Counter (OTC) disbursements.
During the inspection, the monitoring team made inquiries about the details of the cash observed in the vaults. To which the team responded with details of the branch’s ATM and OTC cash disbursement processes.
To our knowledge, all responses provided were satisfactory as no further queries were raised.
The monitoring team promptly left the premises upon concluding the inspection.
- Approximately one hour later, oﬃcials of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), accompanied by the monitoring team, returned to the branch and removed two of the branch’s staﬀ for further questioning at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja.
- The Sterling staﬀ were held at the ICPC oﬃce and were later released withoutany charges levied against them by the close of the business day on February 3, 2023.
About the visit to Sterling Bank, CBD, Abuja
- The Sterling branch at the Central Business District, Abuja, is a regional headquartersand serves as a hub for 5 Sterling branches and 15 ATM terminals within the region.
- During the visit, members of the monitoring team inspected the vault of the branchand observed the sum of N258,000,000 in N1000, N500 and N200 denominations.
- The distribution records from the CBD branch to other locations served within the region were presented for the evaluation of the monitoring team.
- The monitoring team proceeded to visit two branches in Utako and Wuye as both locations receive their cash disbursements from the regional headquarters ofSterling in CBD.
- Upon their visits to the Utako and Wuye branches, the monitoring team reviewed the records submitted for the movement of cash from the CBD branch to other branches served within the region. It is important to state that cash was being paid over the counter at both branches, and the ATM terminals were dispensing the newly designed denominations during the monitoring exercise.
Sterling deems it necessary to point out the following꞉
- Members of the regulatory monitoring team were informed of the sums contained in the branch’s vault prior to the inspection. These sums were conﬁrmed with are view of the records as presented by representatives of the Bank.
The assertion of a “discovery”, as presented in the narrative, is inaccurate and grossly misleading.
- All cash observed in the vault of the CBD branch was earmarked for distribution to other branches in the region for disbursement to customers of the bank and the public.
- The sum of N5,000,000 each as contained in the monitoring team’s report,represents the cash moved to augment the vault balances of the Utako, Wuye, Seda Close and Kotangora branches (in line with the bank’s daily routine of cash management) and also for disbursement to the public via their ATM terminals.
- All balances in our vaults are reported daily to the Central Bank of Nigeria and form the basis for the allocation of new notes in an eﬃcient manner; it is therefore,untrue that such monies are ‘stashed’ or ‘hoarded.’
Sterling’s Distribution of New Notes
From the commencement of the distribution of the re‑designed denominations, the CBD branch has received the total sum of N1,543,000,000 from the apex bankand paid to customers as summarized below꞉
- The sum of N892,700,000 paid out in about 104,821 transactions across 15ATM terminals between January 6 to February 6, 2023.
- The sum of N78,600,000 paid out in approximately 3,892 over‑the‑counter transactions across all 6 branches in the Abuja region between February 2, 2023 to February 6, 2023.
This was commenced upon receipt of the directive from the regulator to disburse the new notes over the counter ‑ subject to a limit of N20,000 per transaction.
- The sum of N1,000,000,000 in a combination of old and new notes, wasdisbursed to customers over the counter in about 2,124 transactions betweenDecember 15, 2022 and January 5, 2023.
The current balances across the 6 branches in Abuja as at the close of business on February 7, 2023 stood at N178,670,000.
The average vault balances currently held in the six locations is N30m per branch; well below our historical vault balances.
- The representatives of the bank duly informed the regulatory monitoring team and oﬃcials of the ICPC of the sums in the vault, stating the purpose as intended for distribution to other branches.
- It must be noted that no cash was “stashed” in the vault of the regional oﬃce.
For emphasis, we wish to state that Sterling Bank has complied with all the guidelines on the distribution of redesigned notes from inception to date,” the bank said regarding the naira hoarding allegation.
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Tinubu: ‘Big Lie, I Can’t Endorse Feb 25 Illegitimate Outcome Of Flawed Process, Atiku Clears Air
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has denied endorsing Bola Tinubu’s victory.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential flagbearer defeated Atiku and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
In a statement on Saturday, Atiku said his attention was drawn to a fake press release attributed to him, “purportedly giving legitimacy to the widely rigged presidential election”.
Atiku stressed that it did not emanate from him and should be treated with repudiation because it was contrived “by those who illegally appropriated the mandate of the people”.
The former Vice President said his lawyers still have been mandated to challenge the outcome of the February 25 poll.
Atiku reiterated his outright rejection of the “pre-determined outcome of the February 25 election” and vowed to continue to challenge the legality.
Calling it the “worst election in our democratic history”, the Wazirin Adamawa said his fight was not for personal interest but for the interest of Nigeria and its citizens.
“It is aimed at deepening democracy and ensuring that we do not confer legitimacy to an outcome of illegitimacy,” the statement added
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INEC To Issue Certificates Of Return To Governors-Elect, Others From March 29
INEC has fixed Wednesday, March 29 to Friday March 31 as days for the issuance of Certificates of Return to governors, deputy governors-elect and states Houses of Assembly members-elect.
Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye made the declaration in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday.
“By the provisions of Section 72(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission is mandated to issue a certificate of return within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned elected under the law.
“Pursuant to the provision, the Commission has fixed Wednesday March 29, Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31 for the issuance of Certificates of Return to those elected on March 18.
“The presentation will take place in INEC offices in each state of the federation,’’ Okoye stated.
He added that specific dates for the issuance of the certificates would be communicated to those elected by the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries of the various states. (NAN).
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#ENDSARS: Sanwo-Olu Orders Payment Of N5m To Assaulted Uber Driver
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered the payment of N5 million compensation to an Uber driver, Adedotun Clement, who was assaulted by security operatives during an #ENDSARS anniversary rally in the state in October 2021.
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had on March 14 ordered the state government and Nigeria Police Force to pay the sum while ruling on an application filed by the driver.
Clement was assaulted by police operatives and members of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Agency during a rally to mark the first anniversary of the #ENDSARS protest near the Lekki Toll Gate in the state.
The governor, who confirmed the development on his Twitter handle on Saturday, said he had directed the state’s Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) to set up a meeting with the driver and pay him the compensation awarded by the court.
He reaffirmed his commitment to the rule of law in the state.
Sanwo-Olu wrote: “Good evening Lagos, as governor, I’m committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens’ rights with empathy and authority.
“I recently became aware of the case involving Mr. Clement Adedotun and the judgement by the Federal High Court, and I understand the impact this legal battle has had on him.
“After reviewing Mr. Clement’s case, I’ve directed the Honorable Attorney General to set up a meeting and pay him the compensation awarded by the court.”
The governor, who confirmed that the state government has appealed the ruling, said he ordered the payment of the compensation for the good of the society.
“Although the State Government has appealed the ruling, I’ve interceded in this instance in the interest of the public good and requested that the State’s Attorney General comply with the court’s ruling.
“As a strong advocate for the rule of law, I commend all parties for seeking justice through the appropriate channels, and I remain committed to upholding the rights of all Lagosians,” he added.
3,760 total views, 1,622 views today
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