Bank chiefs get bail

Nigeria Bank Crisis Update: A Federal Court, Lagos on Monday granted bail to three former bank chief executive officers and four directors facing charges ranging from recklessly granting loans, to share price manipulation following a $2.6 billion (N420 billion) bailout last month.

The court set bail for former Afribank chief executive Sebastian Adigwe, former Oceanic Bank boss, Cecilia Ibru and former Union Bank head, Bartholomew Ebong at N100 million each. Other conditions under the bail include barring the three executives from leaving Nigeria, while their bail is to be secured by two guarantors who are serving members of parliament or chairmen of a financial or oil services firm which have assets worth at least N1 billion.

The guarantors must also own property in Victoria Island, Ikoyi or Lekki – some of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the commercial hub of Lagos – or the districts of Asokoro or Maitama in the capital, Abuja. “They want conditions to be satisfied before the accused persons can be released on bail.

They are quite numerous,” Rickey Tarfa, a lawyer for Union Bank, told Reuters at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi. Bail is to be set for former Finbank chief executive Okey Nwosu and directors of Intercontinental on Tuesday, while the substantive trials would begin on November 23 and 24. “We will comply with the court’s ruling once the accused persons meet the bail conditions,” EFCC spokesman, Femi Babafemi, told AFP after the ruling.