Foremost financial institution, Access Bank PLC, has refuted the alleged arrest of its Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The bank, in a memo signed by its Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, said the Commission had invited for interrogation officials of Access Bank who were handling the Bank’s recovery efforts on Slok credit, including its Group Managing Director.
Slok Group of Companies is owned by former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, who was recently found guilty over allegations of mismanaging the state’s resources.
Kalu, who was jailed by the Federal High Court, has challenged the judgment.
The memo, sent to the Nigeria Stock Exchange on January 10, 2019 by Access Bank PLC, reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a trending report on social media regarding the alleged arrest of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc (Access Bank) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (“the Commission”).
“We wish to state that the issue essentially relates to the credit facilities that were availed Slok Nigeria Limited (“Slok”) by the defunct Diamond bank Plc (“Diamond”) and which were secured by Slok’s assets charged to Diamond. Access Bank had inherited the Slok credit following the recent merger of Diamond with Access Bank.
“Given the differing interest of the Commission and the Bank on the assets of Slok deriving from the court’s recent judgment on Slok, the Commission had invited for interrogation officials of Access Bank who were handling the Bank’s recovery efforts on Slok credit including its Group Managing Director.
“Following fruitful engagement between the Bank and the Commission, we are of the opinion that the issues relating to Slok investigation have been resolved.
“As an institution built on best practice, we wish to assure our esteemed stakeholders that the Bank will continue to conduct its business in line with extant laws and relations.”
The Bank recently expanded its digital lending portfolio, which gives Nigerians quick and 24/7 access to funds for emergencies without any collateral.