EXCLUSIVE: How Tunde Ayeni Wrecked Skye Bank, Management Writes Osinbajo | TheCable

The management of Skye Bank Plc has written to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, detailing how Tunde Ayeni, chairman of the bank between 2010 and 2016, allegedly wrecked the financial institution.

In a series of letters and documents seen by TheCable, the management listed details of how Ayeni allegedly used his office to perpetrate illegality.

After sending several warnings, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had taken over Skye Bank on July 4, 2016.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of CBN, said then that the action followed the failure of the lender to meet the regulator’s minimum key liquidity and capital adequacy ratios.

Ayeni had resigned after the development and CBN announced the appointment of Muhammad Ahmad as the new chairman, while Adetokunbo Abiru took over from Timothy Oguntayo as group managing director (GMD).

SUSPENSE ACCOUNT

In the letter signed by Abiru and Ahmad, the bank gave details of how Ayeni allegedly used loans from the bank to acquire major government companies.

“Upon the assumption of duty by the new board, one of the immediate concerns that needed to be addressed was to ascertain the true state of the affairs and financial position of the bank and the credibility of the IT and information systems of the bank,” the letter read.

Skye

“To this end, the following were undertaken: engagement of PWC do to half-year audit as of June 30, 2016. This was later extended to cover the full year to December 31, 2016.

“Engagement of KPMG to do a forensic audit of the bank’s IT platform and management information systems.

“The forensic audit revealed that the bank operated two sets of financial accountability/books and this was responsive for the regulators/auditors inability to detect the massive losses and infractions, particularly the balance of N280bn in suspense accounts.

INDUSTRY INDEBTEDNESS

“The bank’s total exposure to Ayeni as of the date is about N70bn. It is clear that he used his position as the chairman of the bank to obtain inside loans well above the regulatory thresholds for the acquisition of the following government enterprises: Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Yola Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company and Nitel/Mtel. All the facilities are presently seriously challenged.

“As of today, Ayeni’s total industry indebtedness, covering both Nitel and the Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) is estimated at about N150bn, and little, if any, of these obligations, are being doubtful that he will ever be in a position to service these loans satisfactorily.”

The letter also said another N33 billion was traced to Ayeni, saying there was suspicion that that out of this amount, N7 billion was spent on the re-election campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The sum of N7bn was disbursed without due process to various individuals and corporate organisations on the request of Godknows Igali, a former permanent secretary of the federal ministry of power,” it read.

“The monies appear to have been expended essentially on the Jonathan-Sambo electoral campaign in 2015. That sum remains outstanding as at today.

“There is ample evidence that he (Ayeni), among others, received large amounts of cash, totalling N29.5bn, from the bank, which appears to be connected to the purchase of Mainstreet Bank Limited, but which has not been accounted for.

“He was instrumental in the approval and disbursement of the liquidity management which went on throughout his tenure.”

‘SEIZE ASSETS’

The management recommended that the government assist it to seize Ayeni’s assets.

“The former chairman should be brought to account for his central role in many of the identified infractions,” it read.

“We have been able to perfect the debenture on the fixed and floating assets of Natcom, the vehicle that was used for the acquisition of Nitel and Mtel with asset estimated at N282bn (Open market value) and N183bn (forced sale value) by Knight Frank in 2014.

“This will put us in a position to place the company into receivership for recovery. However, in order to come to fruition, this approach will require strong and unyielding support from the regulatory and political authorities in the country.”

The management also indicted Akinsola Akinfewa, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti and Oguntayo, all former GMDs of the bank.

Other individuals listed in the petition for various acts of infraction are Femi Otedola, chairman Forte Oil Plc, Festus Fadeyi and Jide Omokore.

Ayeni could not be reached for comments as he failed to respond to a text message TheCable sent to his telephone.