The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Zenith, Providus, and Jaiz banks yesterday were invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This is amid investigation into an embezzlement scheme linked to current and former Ministers of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu and Sadiya Umar-Farouq.
According to a recent report by journalists, the bank chiefs handed over documents of accounts operated by the humanitarian affairs ministry to the EFCC to strengthen the ongoing investigation.
The bank chiefs invited are Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu (Zenith Bank), Haruna Musa (Jaiz Bank), and Walter Akpani (Providus Bank).
Sources close to The Guardian who confirmed the development on condition of anonymity said the bank chiefs were at EFCC headquarters in Abuja on 9th January.
According to the source, the banking executives were quizzed over the improper diversion of public funds into private accounts.
Additionally, it was gathered that the bank chiefs were released after meeting with EFCC interrogators.
The EFCC is dissecting a web of suspicious transactions involving hefty sums of public money funneled into private accounts, allegedly approved by Edu and Farouq leveraging their ministerial positions.
Farouq, who led the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs under the previous administration of Muhammadu Buhari, is additionally accused of mismanagement of N37 billion earmarked for the conditional cash transfer program during President Buhari’s tenure.
The source revealed that a potential deliberate lapse in flagging suspicious activity by the banks – a crucial responsibility mandated by anti-financial crime laws and Central Bank directives – played a critical role in the brazen misappropriation of public funds.