The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has explained the reasons behind its arrest and interrogation of a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, over the weekend.

Mr Okonkwo who was recently appointed managing director of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Holdings Plc is said to be questioned over his role in the transfer of $153.3 million from the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission in favour of Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former petroleum minister while he was managing director of Fidelity Bank.

Nnamdi Okonkwo

It could be recalled that the EFCC had on April 28, 2016, detained Mr Okonkwo over the same matter and later slammed a 14-count charge, including money laundering, on him. It is also unclear if there is fresh evidence against the banker which has now necessitated a fresh round of investigation. EFCC officials contacted declined to provide details.

The board of FBN Holdings Plc had on October 28 appointed Mr Okonkwo the new GMD of the company with effect from January 1, 2022. He will succeed Mr. U.K. Eke, who will step down on December 31, according to the company’s note to the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

The board’s decision came five days after the chairman of Geregu Power Plc, Femi Otedola, declared his 5.07 per cent stake in the group, making him a substantial shareholder.

It also came a day after Tunde Hassan-Odukale (FirstBank’s chairman) responded to a query from the exchange to FBN Holdings, seeking clarification on why the shareholding of Mr Hassan-Odukale and related parties were classified into two parts of 4.16 and 1.20 per cent respectively, totalling 5.36 per cent.

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