New Naira Notes: ICPC arrests Bank Officials for Sabotage

By Salihu Ali, Abuja 

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Nigeria, has arrested an official of one of the commercial banks for alleged sabotage of the availability of Naira notes.


This comes as the the anti-corruption agency continues to clamp down on elements frustrating efforts to make the redesigned Naira notes available to Nigerians.


The bank official, who is the Branch Service Head of Stanbic IBTC Bank in Deidei Branch of Abuja, was taken into custody for her deliberate refusal to upload cash into the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) even when the cash was available, and people were queuing at the ATMs.


A press statement by ICPC spokesperson Mrs. Azuka Ogugua disclosed that, when the commission’s monitoring team stormed the bank at about 1:30pm to ensure compliance, and demanded explanation as to why all the ATMs were not dispensing cash, they werr informed by the branch’s Head of Operations that the bank  got delivery of the cash not too long ago.


She said, ICPC operatives were aware that, the branch took delivery of the cash around 11:58am and either willfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with the cash.


Against this backdrop, the ICPC team compelled the bank to load the ATMs with the redesigned Naira notes and ensured that they were all dispensing before arresting the culprit,” Ogugua explained.


In a related development, the ICPC Compliance Team in Oshogbo has busted an FCMB bank in Osogbo, Osun State where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers un-removed, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed.


Ogugua said, the ICPC Team therefore directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly.


The Operation Manager of the Bank was arrested and taken in for questioning after a follow up operation was undertaken and discovered that one of the ATMs was still loaded with the wrappers un-removed.


Similarly, seven Point of Sale (POS) operators as well as a security guard were arrested during the ongoing exercise in Osun State for charging exorbitant rates on cash withdrawals on customers.


The ICPC spokesperson said, it was discovered that, they got the money from Fuel Stations that collect new notes from fuel buyers, and then resell the cash to the public at exorbitant rates.


Ogugua said, the arrested persons are helping the Commission with information to assist investigations and bust any syndicates involved in the hoarding or sales of the redesigned notes.

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