The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has arrested the operations manager of a commercial bank in the federal capital territory for hoarding N29 million of the new naira notes.
The anti-graft agency shared details of the arrest in a statement released on Monday.
The EFCC said the operations manager was arrested after refusing to load the bank’s automated teller machines (ATMs) despite having N29 million in the vault.
“Before he was whisked away for further questioning, the operatives ordered the loading of all the ATMs and the payment of the stipulated amount across the counter to the delight of the distraught customers who had spent hours in queues without getting the new notes,” the statement reads.
“This discovery, which indicates sabotage of the government’s monetary policy by some banks, was made by the EFCC in continuation of the ongoing surveillance and visit to banks across the country to access their vaults and verify whether they were deliberately refusing to dispense the redesigned Naira notes.
“More than five bank branches were covered today by the operatives in Abuja. Similar exercises are ongoing in zonal commands across the country.”
The arrest is coming two days after the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) apprehended the manager of a bank in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, for loading ATMs with cash bundles wrapped with nylon, and as such, could not be dispensed through the machines.
NAIRA NOTES SCARCITY
Over the past few days, Nigerians have been battling with the scarcity of new naira notes — a development that has led to queues at banking halls and ATMs.
The naira notes paucity, coupled with the scarcity of petrol, has also led to protests in some parts of the country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had given a deadline of January 31 for the use of old naira notes but it was recently extended to February 10.
On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed doubts about the commitment of banks to the success of the naira redesign policy, describing them as “inefficient, greedy and selfish”.
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