ICPC discovers N258million new naira notes in Sterling Bank vault, arrests managers

Sterling Bank

Operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have arrested two managers of Sterling Bank after N258million new naira notes were discovered in the bank’s vault.

The operation was carried out at the bank’s head office in Abuja on Friday.

A statement issued by the anti-corruption agency on Tuesday said the operation was carried out to ensure that commercial banks and other interest groups do not flout the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive on the distribution of the redesigned naira notes.

“When the ICPC monitoring team visited the bank and discovered the stashed new Naira notes in the bank’s vault, it was informed that the cash was the remnant of what the CBN had given the bank for onward distribution to its branches.

“The team however found out that only the sum of Five Million Naira (N5m) each was distributed to their various branches.

“Both the Regional and Service managers were arrested and later granted administrative bail while investigation continues,” the statement read in parts.

A video of N6million undistributed new N200 notes seen at a branch of the bank in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State during a visit by a CBN official circulated on social media over the weekend.

The bank, however, debunked allegation that it was hoarding the funds, saying in a statement that the naira notes “were received prior to the re-configuration of the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to dispense the 200 Naira denomination.

It added that “At the time of the visit, the subsisting instruction was that the newly designed notes were not to be dispensed over the counter.”

Other banks so far busted by the ICPC for allegedly hoarding the new naira notes include Keystone Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Stanbic IBTC Bank.