Zenith Bank denies the arrest of its Managing Director
Zenith Bank Plc has refuted claims suggesting that its Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, was apprehended by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In a statement released by the bank, it categorically dismissed the reports of the arrest as “entirely false.”
Several news platforms, excluding MyfinanceNG, propagated on January 9 that Managing Directors of Zenith Bank, Providus Bank, Unity Bank, and Jaiz Bank were taken into custody by the EFCC. Allegedly, this was linked to an ongoing investigation into financial misappropriation charges against the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, and her successor Betta Edu.
However, conflicting reports from other sources, not Nairametrics, suggested that the bank MDs were not arrested but were being questioned by the EFCC in connection to the aforementioned case.
Zenith Bank’s official statement addressed the misinformation, stating, “We have become aware of inaccurate reports circulating on social media and certain news outlets alleging that Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, was arrested and held by the EFCC on January 9, 2024, in connection with the alleged fraud at the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.”
The bank clarified, “We wish to clarify that these reports are entirely false. The Group Managing Director was not arrested or detained by the EFCC or any other anti-graft agency and is currently fulfilling his duties at the bank.”
The statement aimed to dispel misinformation and ensure accurate information for the public and stakeholders. Zenith Bank reiterated its commitment to upholding the highest standards of banking and financial services.
In related developments, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is embroiled in a corruption scandal, leading to the suspension of Minister Betta Edu and the CEO of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu. The former head of the ministry, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, is under investigation by the EFCC in connection with an alleged laundering of N37 billion during her tenure.