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Akingbola must be jailed for stealing customers’ money – Sanusi Lamido
Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has vowed to ensure that former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola is being prosecuted for stealing costumers’ money which led to the collapse of the bank.
A London High Court this week found Akingbola guilty of stealing and diverting depositors funds and ordered him to repay N164 billion in a civil case instituted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
But in his reaction to the conviction in London, Sanusi said repaying the stolen money was not enough but Akingbola must be jailed for stealing customers’ money.
He said “We have filed charges of criminal theft against him at the Lagos High Court and if we get a conviction, he gets punished for stealing which is different from repaying the money he stole.
“We now know he has no defence because he put up everything he had (in his defence) in London but the court found him guilty. We are confident of a conviction in Nigeria.
“We need to make sure people understand that when they are running banks that depositors’ funds are not to be taken for personal use,”
Sanusi said the judgement in London has empowered them to sell-off Akingbola’s assets, “anywhere in the world until we recover N164 billion.”
He disclosed that £9m had already being recovered from the convict following a judgement in an earlier case in London.
Sanusi, who made a swipe at the press for accusing him of having “an agenda or some motives” when he intervened in some banks and removed top management of the banks including the convict, said Akingbola’s conviction has now vindicated his intervention.
He, however, declined to comment on the dismissal of a case by a Federal High Court in Lagos similar to the one Akingbola was convicted in London, saying: “I don’t want to comment on the Nigerian judiciary, but you can draw your own conclusions.”