Fidelity Bank Plc is said to be enmeshed in a N6.3 billion bank fraud, according to a petition written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by a former staff of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Frank Ogboko, said; “Our investigation have revealed that the merger of Old Fidelity Bank Plc with FSB International Bank and Manny Bank into a new entity called Fidelity Bank Plc was a fraud. The management of Old Fidelity Bank Plc did not disclose the true position of the state of affairs of the bank to the management of the other two banks. The merger was consummated in fraud and deception. “
According to the petitioner, he said that the officers, which are involved in the bank deal are; Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi – Managing Director/CEO ; Chief Willie Obiano – Executive Director, Mr. Ikemefuna Mbagwu – Executive Director, Mr. Boye Ogunmolade – Chief Inspector, Mr. Sam Obijiaku – DGM Operations.
In his petition Ogboko said; “It is interesting to note that banks are supposed to disclose their true ‘Net Position’ before finalizing the merger. By true Net Position we mean that Provision for Lost Facilities are to be deducted from the shareholders’ funds to arrive at Net Figure.”
Furthermore, the report stated that; “ It is worrisome to observe that the two major Loan accounts which had huge debit balances in the books of Old Fidelity Bank Plc as at October 31, 2005, were no longer seen in the Overdraft Report of the bank prior to the merger of the three banks. The two accounts in question are: OIL RECOVERY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES LTD (ORES), with ACCOUNT NUMBER = 1210527113 and ERES N.V LTD (ERES) with ACCOUNT NUMBER = 1210588228.”
According to him he said, that the debit balances in the two accounts as at October 31, 2005, were as follows: ORES:- N3,289,378,601, ERES:- N3,026,691,541, he added further that the two accounts debit balances as at October 31, 2005, were as follows: ORES : -N3,289,378,601 and ERES : -N3,026,691,541.
“For OIL RECOVERY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES LTD(ORES), the effective date of the facility was 14/2/2001 for a term or 365 days and the expiry date was 13/2/2002. Amount approved was N250,000,000= The facility was past due by 1355 days as at 31/10/2005. ForERES N.V.LID(ERES), the,effective date of the facility was 25/2/2002 for a term of 365 days and the expiry date was 24/2/2003.Amount approved was N250,000,000=. This facility was past due by 1345 days as at 31/10/2005.”
More so, he noted that; “A total sum of N6, 316,070,142(Six billion, three hundred and sixteen million and seventy thousand, one hundred and forty two Naira) were deleted from the accounts. This implies that the shareholders funds of Old Fidelity Bank Plc have been overstated by N6,316,070,142= This is highly deceptive. Both the CBN, NDIC and other regulatory bodies including the general public were deceived by this act.”
The petitioner averred that; “It is interesting to know that these two accounts have never been disclosed to either CBN or NDIC in the course of their routine inspections. Also these two accounts were never included in the returns sent to CBN and NDIC.”