The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied carrying out a raid on the head office of Standard Chartered Bank in Lagos.
The bank and three others were last month ordered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bring back $8.134 billion they allegedly helped MTN send abroad in breach of foreign exchange regulations.
“Following repeated media enquiries regarding a purported raid on the head office of the Standard Chartered Bank today September 14, by Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Commission is constrained to state that there was no raid on the bank by its officers,” the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement on Friday.
“The raid by operatives purportedly wearing the jackets of the Commission might have been the handiwork of errant officers who acted without authorisation.
“The action is in flagrant violation of the standard operation procedures of the Commission as it is not the style of the EFCC to openly raid the offices of banks and other financial institutions.
“Officials of such institutions who are wanted by the commission, are usually invited for questioning after discreet investigation. Over the years, banks have been cooperative in releasing their officers to the Commission for questioning.
“The Commission will investigate the circumstances leading to this illegal raid by errant officers and those found culpable would be subjected to the internal disciplinary mechanism of the Commission.
“EFCC again reassures Nigerians that it is an agency which adheres strictly to the rule of law and will, as much as possible, avoid draconian measures in its fight against corruption.”
Standard Chartered had earlier said there was no reason for EFCC the operatives to be at its head office.
“We are clear there was no basis for this entry, and the law enforcement officials left the building shortly afterwards,” Standard Chartered said.