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16 May 2017

Court orders CBN to disclose value of Properties recovered from Cecilia Ibru

The Central Bank of Nigeria has been ordered by the Court of Appeal to reveal the total sum of cash and value of properties recovered from the assets of a former managing director of the defunct Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru.

Mrs. Ibru, was convicted and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on a three count charge of negligence, reckless grant of credit facilities running into billions of dollars and mismanagement of depositors’ funds by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos in October 2010.

The court also ordered her to forfeit shares in 298 unlisted and listed blue chip companies.

She reportedly had shares in Guinness Nigeria, Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa, Diamond Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, GTBank Plc, Unilever, Africa Petroleum, Dangote Sugar, Oando Plc, PZ Industries Plc and many others.

She was also to forfeit choice properties in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, all in Lagos State, Abuja, Delta and Rivers States, as well as assets in Dubai, United Arab Emirate and the United States of America.

The appellant court judgement affirmed an earlier decision of the Federal High Court in Lagos, presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris on October 2, 2012, which also ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria to disclose recovered Ibru’s assets.

The appellate court judge, Justice Biobele George held, that “In the result, part of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, Coram: M.B. Idris Justice, in suit number FHC/L/CS/494/2012, Mr. Boniface Okezie vs the Central Bank of Nigeria delivered on 2/10/2012 wherein reliefs 1(e),(f) and (g) sought by Mr. Okezie were granted is hereby affirmed.”

Okezie, a shareholder in the defunct bank, had sought in the reliefs marked, 1(e), (f) and (g) that “the total cash and value of properties recovered from Cecilia Ibru; the whereabouts of the money and properties recovered; and what part of this cash and properties has been returned to Oceanic Bank and/or its shareholders, should be disclosed by the CBN.”

The CBN unhappy with the outcome of the matter at the Federal High Court had challenged Justice Idris’ ruling at the Appeal Court where it again lost.

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