A former Chairman of the defunct Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank), Tunde Ayeni, and a former Managing Director (MD) of the bank, Timothy Oguntayo have been admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million each.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed charges against Ayeni and Oguntayo. The EFCC alleged that the duo were involved in laundering offences amount to about N4.75 billion and $5 million that led to their arraignment between 2014 and 2015, which they pleaded not guilty.
The charge filed against the duo rads:
“You, Mr Tunde Ayeni whilst being the Chairman Board of Directors of Skye Bank Plc and Timothy Oguntayo whilst being the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Skye Bank between 2014 and 2015 conspired at different times to do an illegal act.”
The agency said Ayeni received the delivery of the sums of money totalling N4.75 billion and $5 million belonging to Skye Bank Plc contrary to the provisions of Section 1(a) and 18(a) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the same Act.
On Monday, December 17, 2018, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court in Abuja admitted the duo to bail in the sum of N50 million each. Dimgba also ordered the duo to produce two sureties each in like sum.
In the situation where the duo are unable to perfect their bail conditions within 36 hours, the judge ordered that they would be remanded in Kuje Prison.
He also ordered that if surety was a civil servant, he or she must be on GL 15 and if a private citizen, the person must own landed property in Abuja or Lagos. Dimgba ruled that the sureties must deposit their international passports with the registry of the court.
He later adjourned the matter until February 13 and 14, 2019 for the commencement of trial.
Prior to this…
Ayeni was chairman of Skye Bank till July 2016 when he was sacked, alongside other board members and management. The bank, in August last year, wrote a petition to the Presidency seeking its assistance in recovering funds Ayeni had improperly obtained as Chairman.
After pumping over N100 billion into the bank, the CBN in September revoked the bank’s operating licence and handed over its assets and liabilities to a bridge bank named Polaris.
The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) was also mandated to inject N786 billion into Polaris Bank Limited and subsequently, find a new buyer.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed, in October had tasked Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to investigate the circumstances that led to the collapse of the bank, and stated that all those found guilty would be brought to book.