‘NO STRANGER TO CONTROVERSY’ FMR FIDELITY BANK MD COLLECTED AS BOD APPROVES INVESTIGATION

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The board of directors of Fidelity Bank Plc has approved an investigation into the previous activities of Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s controversial immediate past Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, the bank’s new Managing Director/CEO, is spearheading the investigation, according to inside sources.

Reliable inside sources informed this newspaper Onyeali-Ikpe felt compelled to investigate Okonkwo’s activities following a pool of information at her disposal.

Many of the bank’s top executives quickly resigned from their positions shortly after Onyeali-Ikpe was handed the baton, although our source could not corroborate the reasons for the bulk resignation.

Okonkwo, on the other hand, is no stranger to controversies and scandals.

The EFCC had previously arrested and prosecuted Okonkwo and certain Fidelity Bank staff for allegedly receiving $115 million from Alison-Madueke. During the run-up to the 2015 presidential election, the EFCC said that Alison-Madueke invited the former Fidelity Bank chief to help her handle some cash, which was eventually disbursed to electoral officials and organizations.

However, the fraud was uncovered when the EFCC began investigations into how officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom States received N675.1m.

Onyeali-Ikpe, who has been instrumental in Fidelity Bank’s transformation over the years, took over as Managing Director on January 1, 2021, after six years with the bank.

It was learnt that Onyeali-Ikpe ordered all consultants hired under Okonkwo’s term to be investigated in order to verify there were no abnormalities in the system.

It was alleged that the first company, Auctus Integrated, deposited $17,884,000 into the bank. The second company, Northern Belt Gas Company, deposited $60m while another company, Midwestern Oil and Gas, deposited $9.5m. A fourth company, Leno Laitan Adesanya, deposited $1.85m while the MD himself received $26m in cash.

Diezani’s son, Ugonna Madueke, later served as a middleman between the former minister and the MD of the bank.

The bank officials were arrested, charged to court and granted administrative bail.

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