EFCC grills ex-Skye Bank chairman Tunde Ayeni over multi-billion naira fraud

Tunde Ayeni

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday quizzed former chairman of Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank) Tunde Ayeni over fraud allegations.

Mr Ayeni, it was learnt, will be charged before a Federal High Court in Maitama for fraud running into billions of naira.

The 51-year-old was Skye Bank chairman from 2010 to 2016 when he was removed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Ayeni is being investigated for illegally injecting funds into the re-election campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He is also believed to have used his position to obtain loans to purchase ntel, take up power distribution with the establishment of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company and Yola Electricity Distribution Company.

Acting spokesman for the EFCC Tony Orilade confirmed the troubled businessman was with the anti-graft agency.

“I can confirm that he is in our custody. More information will be released tomorrow,” Mr Orilade said.

The anti-graft agency had entered into an agreement with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to check out some banks and its officials who facilitated huge non-performing loans.

According to the Managing director of AMCON Ahmed Kuru, the decision was for both agencies to consolidate on the gains in the areas of investigating, prosecuting and compelling all obligors of AMCON to recover N906bn from debtors.

Similarly, the managing director and chief executive of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Umaru Ibrahim had disclosed recently that Ayeni and former Skye Bank managing director Timothy Oguntayo are being investigated for their roles in mismanaging the bank.

The NDIC boss said investigations have already commenced and law agencies will do their work once the investigations have been concluded.

The CBN had taken over the bank on July 4, 2016, and appointed a new management.

Skye Bank’s licence was revoked in September 2018 following its financial instability, thus necessitating the regulators to rename it Polaris Bank with a capital injection of about $2bn.

Ayeni has been released after his interrogation by the EFCC.