The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday took a swift action to stabilise the ship of First Bank of Nigeria Limited by reinstating Sola Adeduntan as the managing director and chief executive officer of the Bank while voiding the appointments of all new directors.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, who announced thid in a press briefing in Abuja, also made public the immediate removal of all directors of FBN limited and FBN Holdings.
The regulator also also faulted the appointment of Abdullahi Ibrahim as deputy managing director, as well as the appointment of Ini Ebong, Segun Alebiosu, Seyi Oyefeso and Bashirat Odunewu, as executive directors.
The apex bank, however, directed U.K Eke to remain the group CEO of FBN Holdings Plc.
The CBN had earlier in the day queried the board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited over the removal of Sola Adeduntan, without due consultation with regulatory authorities.
According to letter, which was signed by Haruna Mustafa, CBN’s director of banking supervision, “The CBN was not made aware of any report from the board indicting the managing director of any wrong-doing or misconduct; there appears to be no apparent justification for the precipitate removal. ”
“We are particularly concerned because the action is coming at a time the CBN has provided various regulatory forbearances and liquidity support to reposition the bank, which has enhanced its asset quality, capital adequacy and liquidity ratios amongst other prudential indicators.
“It is also curious to observe that the sudden removal of the MD/CEO was done about eight months to the expiry of his second tenure, which is due on December 31, 2021.”
Emefiele announced the constitution of an interim board to clean up the large lender and stabilise the company.
The First Bank Holdings will now have Remi Babalola as chairman, while First Bank Limited will have Tunde Hassan-Odukale as chairman.