Intercontinental Bank: How Saraki, Imoukhuede, Wigwe loans led to Akingbola’s prosecution

A Federal High Court, Lagos, today, heard how billions of naira loans taken by the Senate President, Bukonla Saraki and others from the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, led to the prosecution of the bank’s former managing director, Dr. Erastus Akingbola.

Akingbola is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an amended 22 counts charge.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, the prosecution witness, Mr. Abdulraham Jimoh, while being cross examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), admitted that a company linked to the Senate President, Dicetrade Nigeria Limited, was indebted to Intercontinental Bank Plc, in the sum of N1, 892, 313, 792. 14 billion.

Other companies said to be indebted to the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc include, Joy Petroleum in the sum of N3. 932 billion; Linker.
N3.617,693,988.99 billion and United Alliance  Company of Nigeria Limited, whose directors are Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe, the current Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, in the sum of N14.5 billion, N14.27 billion and N10.97 billion respectively.

The EFCC witness who was the Chief Investigator of the bank, also admitted that another company linked to the Senate President’s father, Late Olusola Saraki, Skyview Properties, was indebted to the bank to the tune of N2.88 billion.

The witness when asked by Olanipekun (SAN) if he was aware that Lai Alabi who took over from Akingbola, in order to write off all the indebtedness because people involved were closed to him. Said he was only aware that Alabi wrote off some  non-performing loans and granted weavers for some.

When further probed if the loans were collateralized? And that if he was aware that Lai Alabi was the former managing director of Saraki’s Songai Farms before appointed as the managing director of Intercontinental Bank Plc. The witness said he was not aware if the loans were collateralized and if Alabi was former managing director Saraki’s Farms.

The witness when asked if the loan taken by Akingbola’s Tropic Securities and Tropic Properties, were queried by anyone in the bank before his investigation into the bank. The witness said the loans were only queried after he submitted his report to Lai Alabi.

When asked if he is aware if the loans taken from the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc by a company, Regal Finance Limited were repaid, the said ICNL was debited in favour of Regal.

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