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Tuesday, July 9, 2024

EFCC asked to probe Zenith Bank’s Chairman, Jim Ovia over an alleged N3.5Billion Fraud


An anti-corruption organisation, Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN), has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seven days to arrest and prosecute the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, for alleged N3.5 billion money laundering and other alleged fraudulent activities.

The organisation in a petition signed by its Publicity Officer, Leticia Omeiza, accused Ovia of committing various wrongdoings as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zenith Bank Plc, including laundering the sum of N3.5 billion for the Rivers State Government in 2008.

Also, GICN accused Ovia of illegally using Seaforce Shipping Limited's accounts to trade and misappropriate funds for personal use.

GICN in the petition called on the EFCC to arrest and prosecute Ovia and his associates.

It also urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to dissolve Zenith Bank Plc's Board and Management.

The organisation gave the EFCC seven days to respond to its demands, threatening to take legal action and mobilise the media and allied groups to protest at its (EFCC) office in Abuja if no action is taken.

The anti-corruption organisation said, "We recall how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) then under the leadership of Mrs. Farida Waziri on 18th December, 2008 arrested Mr. Ovia in connection with laundering the sum of N3.5 Billion on behalf of Rivers State Government.

"Unfortunately, this money laundering case was never pursued till conclusion because of interference from top government officials at that time. We maintain that the case above can still be reopened, as there is no statutory limitation for arresting and or prosecuting money launderers in Nigeria." 

It further alleged that Ovia's fraudulent activities increased after he became the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc's Board of Directors in July 2014.

Saharareporters

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