The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, remained in custody, yesterday, having been detained last week by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, prompting the bank to appoint a temporary replacement. Spokesman of the anti-graft agency, Wilson Uwujaren, who disclosed this, said the agency obtained a court order to detain Okonkwo and that he would remain in custody while investigation continued. “It is an ongoing investigation that requires his attention and that was why he was arrested. He has been assisting the commission with the investigation,” Uwujaren said.
Okonkwo had been in the custody of the EFCC since last Wednesday, as part of investigations into transactions made in the run-up to presidential elections last year. The bank has said that “the transactions were duly reported as required by the regulators” and that it was cooperating with the authorities. On Monday, the bank appointed one of its executive directors, Mohammed Lawal Balarabe, as acting chief executive with “immediate effect.” Shares in the bank fell nearly eight percent to a two-month low of N1.08, yesterday, the first day of trading since it reported a 14-percent drop in first-quarter profits after the market’s close on Friday. The shares are down 22 percent so far this year.