Operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, have arrested officials of Sterling Bank, a commercial retail banking at its head office in Abuja over stashed N258 million new naira notes in the bank vault.
The undispensed new notes, meant for a politician contesting governorship election on March 18, 2023, who’s name was however not disclosed.
The arrest was made on Friday, according to a statement by the Commission which was made available to news outlets on Tuesday, disclosing that those arrested were regional managers of the bank.
The Commission said, the two managers have been granted administrative bail while the investigation continues, but further stated that the operatives couldn’t believe explanation of the bank officials that the Central Bank of Nigeria had given the bank for onward distribution to its branches.
The statement said: “The team however found out that only the sum of Five Million Naira (N5m) each was distributed to their various branches.”
Further findings by our correspondent indicated that the Bank officials secretly arranged the new banknotes for a governorship candidate facing election on Saturday.
An official of Sterling Bank who pleaded not to be mentioned said that the money was meant for a specific purpose and not to be dispensed through Automated Teller Machine, ATM or across the counter.
“The money is meant for a politician which would have been released for his political activities this weekend but what has happened has happened..”
It is recalled that the clampdown on bank officials by the ICPC and other anti-graft agents were at the backdrop of scarcity of new naira notes and its inaccessibility by bank customers which was largely blamed on the Central Bank of Nigeria.