Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank CEO

Leading Nigerian lender, Access Bank plc, has explained the reasons behind the rumoured arrest of its Managing director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Bank in a statement posted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, signed by Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary, said some of its officials were only invited for clarification regarding a facility obtained by Slok Nigeria Limited, a company owned by former Abia State governor, Orji Uzo Kalu, from the defunct Diamond Bank which merged with Access Bank last year.

“Our attention has been drawn to a trending report on social media regarding the alleged arrest of Mr. Hebert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” the statement read.

“We wish to state that the issue essentially relates to the credit facilities that were availed Slok Nigeria Limited by the defunct Diamond Bank plc and which were secured by Slok’s assets charged to Diamond. Access Bank had inherited the Slok credit following the recent merger of Diamond with Access Bank.

“Given the differing interests of the Commission and the Bank on the assets of Slok deriving from the court’s recent judgment on Slok, the Commission has invited for interrogation officials of Access Bank who were handling the Bank’s recovery efforts on Slok credit including its Group Managing Director.

“Following fruitful engagement between the Bank and the Commission, we are of the opinion that the issues relating to Slok investigation has been resolved.

“As an institution built on the best practice, we wish to assure our esteemed stakeholders that the Bank will continue to conduct its business in line with the extant laws and regulations.”