Ibru family urges Sanusi to reverse self on Oceanic Bank

Bank Crisis- After a six hour meeting with clan heads and elders in Ovwor-Olomu, Delta State, top members of the Ibru maternal family, yesterday urged Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido to reverse the sack of former Oceanic Bank chief Mrs Cecelia Ibru.

Spokesman of the Osajere family (maternal family of Olorogun Michael Ibru), Olorogun John Oguma confirmed the outcome of the meeting to reporters in Ughelli.

He said the most easily manipulated reason for the dismissal of Mrs Ibru is to connect it with non-performing loans.

“But deeper reflections, according to Oguma, render such explanations irresponsible.

“It is an attempt to defend the indefensible,” Oguma said.

Oguma said Sanusi’s agenda since he came into office had been punctuated and laced with religious and ethnic agenda, “particularly his hypocritical bid to introduce Islamic financial services in the country and to make Northerners hijack the banking sector.”

“As a matter of fact, deducing Mrs Ibru’s dismissal from bank loans raises enormous doubts in the minds of all sincere Nigerians and by implications questions the credibility of Sanusi and his cohorts,” the family said.

Sanusi was quoted as saying that the injection of N420 billion into the five affected banks is neither equity nor a bailout by government but a normal central banking function of lender of last resort to the banks.

This, Oguma said, is a trick to steal the banks from the owners and sell them to some selected Nigerians from the North.

Oguma advised that Mrs Ibru be released and reinstated as the managing director of Oceanic Bank and given time to recover the loans.

He also urged the CBN governor and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs Farida Waziri, to apologise to her and the family within seven days.

The family had earlier said the ongoing reform by the CBN is aimed at stealing Oceanic Bank from the owners.

It also described the maltreatment of Mrs Ibru by security agents as an insult to the marital laws of Urhoboland.

“We are not happy. With the N420 billion, those behind the evil agenda would not only have majority shares in the banks but appoint their cronies in the boards and management of these banks,” the family said, adding: “Minister of Petroleum Rilwanu Lukman retired southerners in NNPC, replaced them with Northerners and gave them all the juicy positions. Sansui should have given the banks ultimatum to recover their debts and change management in a democratic way by the shareholders, but he went ahead with his selfish agenda to sack the managing directors and board of directors and replaced them with figureheads.”

It said Sanusi and his co-travellers would throw the banking sector into a deep crisis that will spell much doom for the Nigerian state.

“It is not easy to start a business and nurture it to the level Ibru did. Nigerians know the strength of Oceanic Bank. Courtesy of Ibru, the bank is worth N5 trillion today. At no time did CBN complain of financial recklessness to the board before sacking the chief executive officers and others.

“Even in the US, where the crisis started, the CEOs of Citi Bank of America, Merry Lynch, AIG and others are not being arrested or declared wanted,” the family said.