Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, revealed how Mr. Oba Otudeko, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings and a major shareholder with First Bank of Nigeria, ignored his calls and caution not to sack Dr. Adesola Adeduntan as the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of the First Bank Of Nigeria Limited.
According to Godwin Emefiele, Mr. Otudeko turned deaf ears to not only his pleas but that of two other major shareholders of FBN Limited. In his statements he said “I tried as much as possible to reach out to Mr. Oba Otudeko and after we finally spoke he didn’t grant my request, this prompted me to reach out to his fellow major shareholders to bring him under control and further enlighten him on the risks of his moves. He rebuffed these major shareholders’ calls.”
Godwin Emefiele justifies the sack of the boards of FBN and FBNH as he claimed to have called Mr. Oba Otudeko just before the public announcement but he adamantly refused to listen to reason.
With a deposit base of over N4 trillion, it is CBN’s duty to protect the over 30 million customers and shareholders of FBN from individuals like Mr. Oba Otudeko.
In a press conference held on April 29th, 2021, Emefiele explained that the Central Bank of Nigeria itself is also a major stakeholder in FBN operations and also said it was shocking that some executive board Otudeko and Mrs. Ibukun Awosika had decided to sack Dr. Adesola Adeduntan as the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of the First Bank Of Nigeria Limited without recourse to CBN.
This action of arrogant disregard of banking regulations sent a negative signal to customers and shareholders on the lack of transparency of the board members. Godwin Emefiele also revealed that there were hidden loans in the bank which were not properly serviced. They discovered that Mr. Oba Otudeko had obtained a #75 billion loan facility for Honeywell Flour Mills which the bank had classified as “non-performing”. AMCON may be invited to wade into this financial mess and recover the monies given to Honeywell Flour Mills by seizing and selling assets of Oba Otudeko and his other companies.