$32m debt: House of Reps threatens to arrest Polaris Bank acting MD/CEO

October 22, 2021
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The Federal House of Representatives Committee has threatened to arrest the acting MD/CEO of Polaris Bank, Innocent C. Ike, over $32 million debt.

During a sitting on Thursday, October 21st, 2021 a representative of Polaris Bank simply identified as the Head of Legal Services told the committee that the money was remitted to the government and evidence of payment has been tendered to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

However, speaking at the sitting, Chairman of the Committee, Adejoro Adeogun, said; “The Committee will issue a warrant of arrest on the Managing Director of Polaris Bank for non-appearance to account for over $32 million unremitted funds it owed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).”

Addressing the representative of the financial institution, Adejoro said; “You can’t stand for Polaris. We can’t stand your falsehood; your bank has been constantly failing to appear before this committee.”

“You can’t keep government funds, and you will be playing games with it. NNPC has written to us that they have not received the remittance. You can’t speak for your bank. If your bank continues with this level of seriousness, I will issue an arrest warrant against the MD.”

READ ALSOPolaris Bank releases new guidelines for forex applications

“You did not tender any evidence, you wrote letters to NNPC saying that you have directed CBN to make payments. Directing CBN does not mean you have paid the money.”

“You directed CBN to use your reserve and if they make that payment from your reserve, it will fall below the regulatory requirements and so, CBN has rejected your advice. If you keep acting like you are bigger than the National Assembly, we will issue warrant of arrest against your MD. I think we are getting to that.”

“We don’t accept this gentleman’s representation, and we are going to adjourn your (Polaris) hearing to Wednesday next week. Get your MD to come.”

a“You are owing $32 million; this money is supposed to be remitted to the federation account to fund the 2022 budget and you can’t continue to hold on to the federal government’s money. You have between now and Wednesday next week to appear here with evidence of payment, not instructions to CBN that has not been honoured”

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