$32m unremitted funds: Reps panel threatens arrest warrant against Polaris MD | Dailytrust

$32m unremitted funds: Reps panel threatens arrest warrant against Polaris MD

House of Representatives
House of Representatives

The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002-2020 has threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against Mr Innocent Ike, the Managing Director of Polaris Bank.

The committee issued the threat over the failure of the bank chief to appear before it to account for over $32 million unremitted to the federation account.

Chairman of the committee, Adejoro Adeogun, expressed displeasure over the non-appearance of the Managing Director of the bank.

Adeogun at the resumed hearing said the Accountant General of the Federation, NNPC, Polaris, Unity, Sterling, Heritage, Keystone and Fidelity banks were invited to appear before the panel.

However, trouble started when the Head of Legal Services of Polaris announced his appearance before the committee instead of the Managing Director, a development which outraged the committee.

Adeogun said the Legal Officer of Polaris Bank could not stand in for the MD.

“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 unseriousness, I will issue an arrest warrant against the MD”, he said.

Polaris’ representative told the committee the committee, the bank has tendered evidence of payment to the CBN.

But Adejoro countered the bank’s claim saying, “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 a 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. 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 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”, Adejoro said.

Also speaking, the Chief Financial Officer of NNPC told the committee that Polaris is still owing over 32 million dollars.

In the same vein, the committee also summoned the Accountant General of the Federation, as well as Managing Directors of Sterling, Unity, Sterling, Heritage, Keystone and Fidelity banks to appear in persons before the committee on Wednesday next week.

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