Why First Bank Directors Were Removed—CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has explained that it sacked the directors of First Bank Nigeria Ltd and FBN Holdings to protect its 31million customers and minority shareholders.

The Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday, announced the removal of the Chairman of First Bank Plc Mrs. Ibukun Awosika and Chairman of FBN Holdings, Mr. Oba Otudeko.

Emefiele said the action was taken because the removed directors had “effected sweeping changes in executive management without engagement and/or prior notice to the regulatory authorities.”

The apex bank reinstated Mr. Sola Adeduntan as the managing director/chief executive offcer (MD/CEO).

Emefiele explained that the CBN begged the board members of First Bank severally not to remove Adeduntan but the pleas were ignored.

He said; “The truth is that even before we issued the query yesterday to chairman of the board, copied to all the directors and major shareholders, the initial attempt to remove the Managing Director, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, was leaked to me by an interested party in the course of the board meeting.”

Emefiele added, “When I heard about this, I had course, first to call the chairman of the holding company, Mr. Oba Otudeko. He picked my call, I reminded him about the regulatory intervention and forbearance regime in the bank.

“And that, the decision to make such sweeping changes would require prior approval of the CBN. I pleaded with him to step down the decision and that we could hold a meeting to discuss the issues.

“Given that the current managing director was running on a tenure that is expected to expire on December 31, 2021 and as far as we are concerned, there was no need for such changes.”

Mr. Gbenga Shobo, who the sacked board appointed on Wednesday as managing director-designate, was restored to his former position as deputy managing director.

The apex bank named Mr. Remi Babalola as replacement for Otudeko (FBN Holdings Chairman) and Tunde Hassan-Odukale as Mrs. Awosika’s replacement FBN (Chairman).

Other directors announced into the reconstituted Board are: Dr. Fatade Abiodun Oluwole; Kofo Dosekun; Remi Lasaki; Dr. Alimi Abdulrasaq; Ahmed Modibbo; Khalifa Imam; Sir Peter Aliogo and UK Eke.

The CBN listed Tokunbo Martins; Uche Nwokedi; Adekunle Sonola; Isioma Ogodazi; Ebenezer Olufowose and Ishaya Elijah B. Dodo as directors.

Remi Oni and Abdullahi Ibrahim were named executive directors.

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