GICN Accuses Zenith Bank’s Chairman of Fraud, Demands EFCC Action

GICN Accuses Zenith Bank's Chairman of Fraud, Demands EFCC Action | Daily Report Nigeria

The Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, over alleged fraudulent activities.

The group claims that Ovia laundered N3.5 billion for the Rivers State Government in 2008 and has continued to engage in fraudulent activities as Chairman, including misappropriating funds through Seaforce Shipping Limited’s accounts.

“We recall how the EFCC arrested Mr. Ovia in 2008 for laundering N3.5 billion on behalf of Rivers State Government, but the case was never pursued due to interference from top government officials,” said Leticia Omeiza, GICN’s Publicity Officer. “We maintain that this case can still be reopened, as there is no statutory limitation for arresting and prosecuting money launderers in Nigeria.”

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GICN has given the EFCC a 7-day deadline to respond to their demands, threatening legal action and mobilizing protests if no action is taken. The group has also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to dissolve Zenith Bank Plc’s Board and Management.

“Ovia’s fraudulent activities have increased since he became Chairman in 2014,” the group said. “Zenith Bank Plc is one of Africa’s largest banks, with assets exceeding $21.4 billion and shareholders’ equity over $2.4 billion as of December 2023.

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It is unacceptable that such a prominent institution is being led by an individual with a history of fraudulent activities.”

The petition includes supporting documents, such as bank statements and a letter from Seaforce Shipping Limited’s auditors.

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