EFCC begins probe of bank chiefs

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is set to commence investigations of managing directors, deputy managing directors and executive directors of banks in Nigeria.

This follows the demand for the assets declaration forms filed by bankers beginning from June 1, 2021 by the executive chairman of the Commission, Abdurasheed Bawa.

The request for the assets declaration forms of the top bank executives waa contained in a letter to the managing directors of the banks dated June 1, 2021.

Listed among the officers whose assets declaration forms are expected by the Commission are managing directors, deputy managing directors and executive directors of all the banks.

The request is pursuant to the Bank Employees, Etc. (Declaration of Assets) Act, 1986, which mandates bankers to declare assets upon employment and thereafter annually.

Violators of the law risk imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years.

Recall that within the week, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) called for the publication of assets declared by public and civil servants by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to curb corruption in the public sector.

Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, during a meeting with the chairman and board members of CCB, said the secrecy that surrounds asset declarations by public and civil servants was aiding corruption.

He said, “Publicising asset declaration will assist the whistle-blowing policy and our work. We have not been able to take full advantage of asset declaration because of the opacity around it. If somebody lied about his or her assets, he or she can be found out by just the opening of the page where it has been published.

“I want to encourage the CCB to push for that because the public will help us to do our work. They will tell us who owns what assets and whether it is proportionate to their earnings.”

Owasanoye also said the secrecy surrounding asset declarations had added to the problem of insecurity and underdevelopment facing the nation.

He encouraged the CCB to move to review and revise the Assets Declaration Form to include information that could help trace assets such as BVN and new forms of investments such as cryptocurrency.

Prof. Owasanoye also urged CCB to start digital declaration of assets as against the old manual declaration method, saying that it would help in the easy tracing and analysis of assets as well as enable CCB to furnish government with information on the lifestyles of both public and civil servants.

Source: Today.ng