Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nigeria: Govt Writes Britain, Seeks Akingbola's Extradition

Abuja is officially seeking from Britain the extradition of Erastus Akingbola, former Intercontinental Bank Managing Director, to face trial for fraud allegedly committed by him while in office.
Akingbola and seven other bank MDs were sacked on August 14 and October 2 last year by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The others were charged to court, but he escaped to the United Kingdom, and has remained there ever since.

A letter federal Attorney General and Justice Minister, Mohammed Adoke, wrote to the British Home Secretary on July 1 said the request for the extradition is made pursuant to the Extradition Act (Designation of Part 2 Territories) Order 2003 (SI2003 No.3334) of the UK.

Akingbola and the other bank MDs were fired for alleged reckless management of their banks, while jeopardising depositors' funds.

They were replaced by officials the CBN appointed to nurse the banks back to health within two years.

The banks were given a total N620 billion as lifeline to enable them remain going concerns, while deposits were guaranteed by the CBN.

The banks, according to the CBN, are now up for mergers, or acquisitions, deals, expected to be completed by end of the current quarter.

The letter Bello wrote followed a request from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking Akingbola's arrest and extradition to face 28 charges in court, ranging from financial misappropriation, money laundering, financial malpractices, corrupt practices, and other related offences.

Though in London, Akingbola is prosecuting his case against the CBN, challenging his sack and other actions taken on the bank audit carried out by the CBN and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

The letter, which asked the British Home Secretary to grant the request in the interest of justice, was backed by an affidavit deposed to by Rita Ibeakaku, a Deputy Superintendent in the EFCC.

Also attached was a certification signed by Ahmed T. Almakura, Senior State Counsel in the Justice Ministry.

The letter referred to another letter from Intercontinental Bank forwarding detailed information, including photographs of Akingbola, and attestations in support of the request.

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