Special Investigator Summons Titan Trust Bank Chairman and Shareholders Amid Controversial Union Bank Acquisition Probe

President Tinubu’s Appointed Investigator Calls for Clarifications from Tunde Lemo and Major Shareholders Following Disputed Findings

In a significant development, the Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu to scrutinize the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has summoned Titan Trust Bank (TTB) Chairman, Tunde Lemo, and two other major shareholders. This move comes after Lemo contested the investigator’s findings on the controversial acquisition of Union Bank of Nigeria.

The investigation stems from President Tinubu’s suspension of former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele on June 9, 2023, and the subsequent appointment of Jim Obazee, CEO of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, as the special investigator. Obazee’s report alleged that Emefiele used “ill-gotten wealth” to establish TTB and acquire Union Bank and Keystone Bank through proxies, recommending the banks’ forfeiture to the federal government.

Disputing these claims, Lemo insisted that TTB followed due process and met all regulatory requirements during the acquisition. In an interview, he stated that every process leading to the acquisition of Union Bank was verified by the CBN, SEC, and other regulators.

Expressing concern about the potential adverse effects of publishing unverified information on banks, Lemo cautioned against hasty judgments and emphasized the health and stability of the banking institutions involved.

The Corporate Communications Department of TTB echoed Lemo’s defense, stating in a detailed statement that the establishment of the bank and the acquisition of Union Bank complied with Nigerian laws.

In response to Lemo’s defense, the Special Investigator sent an invitation letter to Lemo and the two major shareholders, asking them to appear before the investigative team on Thursday. The letter, signed by the Head of Operations, Eloho Okpoziakpo, noted the failure to hear from the shareholders or receive requested documents, emphasizing the need for fair and thorough proceedings.

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The invitation outlined the allegations and requested clarifications from Lemo, Cornelius Vink, and Rahul Savara, urging them to attend the meeting at the Department of Force Intelligence (DFI) in Abuja on December 28, 2023.

The ongoing probe adds another layer of complexity to the financial landscape, raising questions about the intersection of regulatory oversight, high-profile acquisitions, and the potential implications for the banking industry.

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