The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) will begin the investigation of the directors and officers of the 183 banks whose licences were revoked earlier this year.
The managing director of the NDIC, Bello Hassan, said this at a one-day capacity-building workshop for law enforcement agencies on Thursday in Lagos.
He said the law enforcement agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian police, would soon be called to investigate sharp practices by the directors of these defunct banks.
“As you are all aware, the Central Bank of Nigeria recently revoked the banking licenses of 183 MicroFinance Banks (MFBs) and Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs), which may require you to be called upon to investigate some of the directors and officers of these institutions with a view to bringing to book those found culpable in the collapse of these institutions,” he said.
Mr Hassan, represented by Henry Fomah, head of the legal department of NDIC, noted that through collaborative efforts of agencies, 12 prosecution cases were currently ongoing at various courts.
“There are 25 ongoing investigations at the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), 11 with the EFCC, and five concluded investigations with the Federal Ministry of Justice for advice and prosecution,” he said.
According to him, this indicates that the corporation and other government agencies are on the right course through collaboration.
He said this would bring to book errant directors, officers, and managers of these banks that led to their collapse, adding that a stable financial system could only be guaranteed if the banking industry was well sanitised.
“I want to use this forum to appeal to the members of the task force not to relent on your oars but to execute the given mandate diligently, thereby achieving the objectives of establishing the task force,’’ he said.
He added that the corporation was not unaware of the challenges of investigating and prosecuting financial malpractices and bank fraud cases, urging officers not to relent in their efforts.
The NDIC boss noted that the advancements in information technology with new possibilities in banking operations had equally exposed the banking subsector to emerging threats.
He said the situation had increased the burden on the regulators and supervisors to enhance their operational capacities and heightened the need for more collaboration between agencies involved in the fight against banking malpractices.
Kofo Salam-Alada, the head of legal services at CBN, said it was essential for agencies that would collaborate with regulators to have deep insight into how regulators operate.
“A lot of gaps have been seen, which is why we must commend the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation for having been the vanguard of sponsoring capacity-building exercises for the past 12 years,” Mr Salam-Alada said.
The workshop equipped officers involved in the investigation and suspicion of financial malpractices in the banking system with the necessary skills required to carry out their duties diligently, focusing on failed banks.