The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Lamido Sanusi has said that the guilty verdict on Eratus Akingbola, former Chief Executive of the Intercontinental Bank, has vindicated actions taken by the apex bank.
A High Court sitting in London on Tuesday ordered Erastus Akingbola, to repay to Access Bank, approximately N164 billion or 654 million pounds having been found guilty of sharp practices while heading the bank.
“We have always known that this money was money that had to come back to the bank, and we had reasons for intervening in the bank,’’ Lamido said in an interview with the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria in London.
Sanusi, who said the CBN had recovered nine million pounds from Akingbola, added that the ruling was a clear indication that “we were right’’.
The CBN governor, who also noted that a criminal case against former chief executive in a Lagos court is still pending, expressed confidence that the bank will get similar conviction in Nigeria.
“We also have a criminal case against him. Because you stole money and brought it back does not change the fact that you stole. This is a civil case, we are getting back the wealth as much as we can,’’ he said.
Sanusi, who also spoke on the implication of the ruling, said it meant that Akingbola’s assets in any part of the world could be sold off until the money was recovered.
“If he doesn’t have any asset, we will then sell everything he has if the court permits,’’ Sanusi said, describing as unfortunate that the case was initially thrown out by a court in Nigeria .
“ We have seen now from what has happened in London whether the Judge was right to throw out the case and banning us from pursuing the case in any branch of the High court.