Should the erstwhile managing director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr. Erastus Akingbola fail to refund the sum of N164 billion he allegedly stole, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will sell his property to effect recovery, it was learnt on Wednesday.
But in a drastic twist of events, Charles Nwagwu, Media Counsel to the embattled former bank managing director said he was not asked to pay back any money contrary to media report.“May we also clarify that the judgment did not order Dr. Akingbola to pay any sum of money as at today contrary to claims, in the media reports”, said Nwagwu.
He continued, “we are disappointed with the judgment which is at variance with all evidence at the hearing. Our lawyers have therefore been instructed to pursue an appeal of the judgment as well as consider all further legal options”.
He said the civil case in London is the fourth variant of the various cases in the Nigerian courts emanating from the forceful takeover and subsequent sharing of the assets of Intercontinental Bank and the ruthless suppression of any opposition.
“Dr. Akingbola restates his innocence and is determined to clear his name. He remains confident that the judicial system will eventually vindicate him”, said Nwagwu.
Meanwhile efforts to get officials of Access Bank to speak on the matter met brick walls.
However, the Governor of CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, speaking in London on the sidelines of the Nigeria Business and Investment Summit, entitled: New World Nigeria: The World’s Most Vibrant Market, said “We have a ruling for N164 billion against Akingbola.
This means that we can sell all the assets he has in the world until we recover the money. So if he doesn’t have that (funds to be refunded), we will sell everything he has to get that,” Sanusi said.
In a ruling delivered in London in the case against Mr. Akingbola last Tuesday, Mr. Justice Burton ordered the ex-Intercontinental bank chief to refund the sum of N164 billion being proceeds of Unlawful Share Purchase Scheme and fund misappropriation and converted into personal use.
The Court held that Mr. Akingbola devised and oversaw the implementation of the strategy to buy the Bank’s shares and told lies that he did not know that the bank was buying its own shares.
Besides, it was discovered that shortly before the implementation of the strategy to increase the bank’s share price with the intent of benefitting from the unethical and illegal scheme, Mr. Akingbola had borrowed N9.3 billion to purchase a large quantity of the bank’s shares for himself.