Nigeria: Magu - FCMB Apologises to Pastor Over Erroneous Money Transfer

27 September 2020

The First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has apologised to both Emmanuel Omale, the General Overseer of the Divine Hand of God Ministries, and the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, over N573 million mistakenly 'credited' into Mr Omale's account.

According to the letter seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday, the bank published its apology in three national newspapers, The Guardian, Daily Trust and BusinessDay.

The letter was a sequel to a N5 billion suit filed by Mr Omale's lawyer, Gordy Uche, against FCMB over the bank's report to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit of an alleged payment.

Mr Omale also accused the bank of negligently breaching the fiduciary duty of care in its banker-customer relationship with his client.

According to the suit, the court also summoned the bank to enter appearance either personally or by a legal representative within 30 days after the service of the writ.

It added that failure to appear before the court, judgement may be given in its absence.

Mr Omale's suit was in relation to a presidential committee report that audited the EFCC between 2015 and 2020, which claimed that Mr Omale was used "as an instrument for the embattled EFCC boss to launder money."

The Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets said Mr Omale had received N573 million to purchase a property in Dubai for Mr Magu.

Mr Magu was investigated by the panel headed by Ayo Salami, a former president of the appeal court, over allegations of corruption and insubordination. The allegations were made by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

The bank had earlier said the N573 million could not have been accessed by Mr Omale as its system promptly corrected wrong credit without any amount being accessed.

REGRETS

In the letter dated September 11, titled "Re: Bank Negligence Occasioning Unique Investigation And Defamation To Our Client," and signed by both legal counsel to FCMB, Adewale Fati and Olugbenga Elemide, the bank said it regrets the error and has accordingly published a public apology in three national newspapers as demanded by the senior advocate on behalf of Mr Omale.

The letter reads in part, "Please be informed that in line with the undertaking contained in our aforementioned letter, we have published in three national newspapers (The Guards newspaper, Daily Trust newspaper and Business Day newspaper) on September 11, 2020. Please find attached herewith copies of our public apology to Divine Hand of God Ministries.

"It is our hope that the public apology has assuaged the grievances of your client, having seen that the error was indeed not borne out of any malice towards them. Kindly extend our good wishes to your client, whilst assuring you of our warm professional regards."

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