According to a report by SaharaReporters, the many operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are currently at the head office of NOVA Merchant Bank Limited to arrest the Chairman of the institution, Phillips Oduoza and its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nath Ude.
NOVA Bank is an investment-grade merchant bank in Nigeria which offers an integrated suite of financial solutions covering Wholesale Banking, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading, Wealth Management, Trade Services, Transaction Banking, Cash Management and Digital Banking.
Sources told SaharaReporters that EFCC officials stormed the bank’s head office at 23, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island in Lagos on Friday at noon to pick up Oduoza and Ude.
The duo are said to be under investigation following a petition by a staff member which accused them of fraud, conversion of tax and dollar round-tripping.
“EFCC is at NOVA bank to pick up the Chairman and MD on fraud. They are being investigated because a staff wrote a petition on fraud relating to the conversion of tax, dollar round-tripping,” a worker told SaharaReporters.
The forex market as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has vowed to deal decisively with perpetrators.
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the in September 2021 said the apex bank would continue to restrict the activities of illegal forex dealers, advising banks to adhere strictly to CBN guidelines on forex sales.
Emefiele also said the CBN would hunt Nigerians who buy forex for Personal Travel purposes and later cancel such trips.
He warned bank customers involved in such fraudulent practices to desist from it.
“People buy forex from banks with PTA/BTA and cancel the flight later. We will find them and they must return the currency,” Emefiele had said.
Oduoza with about 30 years of banking experience, is the founder and Chairman of the board of Nova Merchant Bank Limited. He retired as the global CEO of UBA Group and was part of a small team that pioneered and established Diamond Bank Plc in the early 90’s.
The bank announced the appointment of Ude as its Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer effective 3rd of October 2020.
Ude was Executive Director at First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and later Executive Director at Union Bank from where he joined NOVA. He started his banking career with Citibank.