Some of the 15 directors of the 20 Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) and two directors of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), indicted by a special task force set up by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to look into the collapse of the affected banks have faulted the yardsticks used by the investigating committee.
The NDIC had, while wading into the matter set up a task force, headed by Mr. Benard Taribo, to look into the immediate and remote causes of the misfortune of the banks.
The current case was said to have taken place in 2015 during which a number of financial institutions were found to have been technically insolvent, as a result of alleged abuse of the system.
But while submitting its findings to management on Wednesday, the committee said it reviewed about 16 criminal cases being prosecuted under the Failed Banks Act whose prosecution had been stalled as a result of some technical legal issues.
Taribo stated: “The Task Force noted that some of those accused persons had sneaked back into the country in the hope that their prosecutions might have been terminated.
“It is against this backdrop that the Task Force gave the notice that such accused persons would be re-arrested and prosecuted to serve as a warning to other bank offenders
“The Task Force would leave no stone unturned to ensure that erring bank offenders involved in malpractice that led to the collapsed of their institutions have been identified”.
But Mr. Wilson Okoye, a counsel to one of the accused directors of the affected MFB, George Odom, said the task force had no legal status to take up a case still pending in courts.
The lawyer said that his client had the option of still challenging the case in court.
However, the Chairman indirectly defending the Committee’s action said it did not touch the cases thrown out by courts on technical reasons, but maintained that those of the 10 closed MFBs and DMBs were taken up by the regulatory authorities to return sanity to the system.
It would be recalled that on December 28th, 1998, then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice constituted the Task Force on Implementation of the Failed Banks Act, (The Task Force), which empowers the regulatory authorities to investigate cases of abuse in the sector.
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