First Bank

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ex First Bank Boss, Bisi Onasanya Fears EFCC Invitation Over Involvement With Under Investigation Oil Baron, Walter Wagbatsoma

Nobody forgets Bisi Onasanya’s mansion in a hurry. Behind the gates of the impressive manor, luxury saunters in a colourful garb. The interior depicts Bisi’s dreams of bliss; you could be forgiven for mistaking it for the fabled Atlantis. The panes of quaint decor, embroidered fabric and devices, ornaments the insides like the damasked wings of the pyralid.

Amid its enchanting premises, you could get lost, especially if you are a first time visitor. Recurrent callers at the mansion have been known to marvel and keel over in humility, in deference to its lavish treats.

Outside, the building is garlanded with arcs and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass. Bisi’s manor is a testament of class. No doubt. However, the former Managing Director (MD) of First Bank Nigeria Plc would be unable at acquire such luxury had he not taken the right steps in his pursuit and acquisition of money. Bisi cultivated the money habit very early in life. He saw it as the perfect means for bribing his way through the inconveniences of life.

Bisi pursued and acquired money in markedly different tradition from the ways of his peers. While too many of his peers, gained from their wealth only the fear of losing it, Bisi gained from his wealth, comfort, contentment and a deep sense of purpose.

The former bank MD understood quite early in life, that there are no little ways to imbue his life with grandeur. He understood that money matters in the mix, in his pursuit of ease and luxury. Thus he pursued money as the only sunbeams that lights his path to grandeur. Nothing is black where it shines. That is why his life is radiant with light.

While he served as MD of First Bank, Onasanya worked very hard and saved very hard. Today, he is reaping the fruit of his labour. Indeed, Bisi is one very sharp dude who planned his retirement very well. Findings revealed that he is most likely the richest retired bank chief in the country, considering his extensive fortune and business interests.

Besides being intimidatingly solvent, Bisi lives a charmed life. No sooner did he retire from First Bank than he relocated from his Ikoyi residence to a sprawling mansion on Banana Island, in Lagos. At his new mansion, Bisi has on display, the choicest and most expensive automobiles. And just recently, he added 2017 models of the most expensive auto brands to his fleet of cars.

Forget his cars, Bisi owns a massive farm in Epe/Lekki axis of Lagos State. He also owns impressive stakes in the coastal city’s real estate sector. This includes posh apartments in the most exclusive and highbrow areas of Lekki. Hence even though he is retired, Bisi is making a hell of money from his farm and posh apartments.

There is no gainsaying Bisi made a lot of money while he served as head honcho of First Bank. He also helped a lot of Nigerian magnates to make a lot of money. For instance, it was during his tenure as MD of First Bank that the bank lent out money to the highest number of people. It was also during his tenure that the bank suffered the highest number of non-performing loans. Thus many businessmen made their fortune via Bisi’s very accommodating loan schemes.

Among such beneficiaries was his bosom friend, Walter Wagbatsoma. It was an open secret that Bisi and Walter maintained a robust and enviable friendship while Bisi headed First Bank. But as you read, misery permeates the walls of their friendship, and hovers above
Bisi’s mansion, like a bridge over troubled waters. This is because Bisi is afflicted with worry and pain over Walter’s travails with the law. Ever since Walter waded into troubled waters, Bisi has been unsettled. This is only natural as a good friend should always lose sleep and peace of mind over every affliction of his bosom friend.

Bisi has been instrumental to Walter’s success in the business terrain. While he was the boss at First Bank, Bisi facilitated lucrative loan opportunities for Walter to aid his business, to the latter’s delight. In a nutshell, the former bank chief spared no measure to support his friend.

Hence it is only natural that he would be upset by Walter’s predicament.

Recently, Walter was extradited to the United Kingdom and charged under an investigation into fraud and money laundering involving the NHS. Walter, who is the MD of Ontario Oil and Gas, was extradited to the UK last Thursday and is set to appear at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court next Friday morning.

The Economic Crime Unit of Lincolnshire Police has been conducting a major investigation with the NHS involving offences of fraud and money laundering in excess of £12m.

It would be recalled, that Wagbatsoma, alongside Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, Babafemi Fakuade and Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd, are facing a nine-count charge bordering on fraud involving N1.9bn oil subsidy scam.

The case is currently ongoing at Ikeja High Court, Lagos. In the trial which commenced on May 8, 2013, Wagbatsoma and others were accused of having collected money to the tune of N1.9bn from the Federal Government in the name of importation of fuel, which the

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said his company never did.
The trial which was almost concluded took a new twist on April 12 this year, when Wagbatsoma’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), challenged the authority of Rotimi Jacobs, the prosecution lawyer to represent the Federal Government in the case.

Walter is the founder, Executive Vice-Chairman of Ontario Oil & Gas Limited. He once worked in the audit department at Shell. He also worked for banks such as Zenith International, Ecobank and FSB International Bank and Trade Bank, where he set up their energy subsidiary before establishing Ontario Oil and Gas. A very close friend of Bisi, Walter was one of the beneficiaries of the former bank chief’s loan facilities while he headed the management at First Bank.


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