THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arrested officials of some commercial banks for alleged sabotage.
The ICPC, in a statement signed by its spokesperson Azuka Ogugua on Friday, February 3, said the arrest was in continuation of its clampdown on elements frustrating the efforts in making the redesigned naira notes available to members of the public.
According to the ICPC, one of the bank officials, said to be the Service Head of Stanbic IBTC, Deidei branch, Abuja, was taken into custody for her deliberate refusal to upload cash into the branch’s automated teller machines (ATM) even when the cash was available, and people were queuing at the Atm.
“When the ICPC monitoring team stormed the bank at about 1:30pm to ensure compliance and demanded an explanation as to why all the ATMs were not dispensing cash, it was informed by the branch’s Head of Operations that the bank just got delivery of the cash.
“However, facts available to the ICPC operatives indicated that the branch took delivery of the cash around 11:58am and either wilfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with the cash.
“Against this backdrop, the ICPC team compelled the bank to load the ATMs with the redesigned Naira notes and ensured that they were all dispensing before arresting the culprit,” the statement said.
The Commission said investigations were ongoing, and the ICPC would take appropriate action as soon as they are concluded.
In a related development, the ICPC said its Compliance Team in Oshogbo has busted an FCMB branch in Osogbo, Osun State, where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers unremoved, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed.
The anti-graft agency said the team directed that the wrappers be removed and the cash appropriately loaded.
“However, when a follow-up visit was undertaken the following day to ascertain the level of compliance, the Team discovered that one of the ATMs was still loaded with the wrappers unremoved.
“The Operation Manager of the bank was arrested and taken in for questioning,” the ICPC added.
The ICPC said that in a similar event, seven point-of-sale (POS) operators and a security guard were arrested in Osun State for charging exorbitant commissions for cash.
The Commission’s investigations revealed that the suspects got the money from filling stations that collected new notes from fuel buyers and resold the cash to the public at exorbitant rates.
The agency said the arrested persons were helping the Commission with information to assist in investigation and bust syndicates involved in the hoarding or sale of the redesigned notes.