First City Monument Bank (FCMB) N573 million scandal has taken a fresh dimension.
The bank wired the money into the account of Pastor Emmanuel Omale, General Overseer of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, Abuja.
Pastor Omale was alleged by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to have wired the N573million to the United Arab Emirates to buy properties for Ibrahim Magu, suspended Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss.
However, FCMB’s boss, Adam Nuru told the Presidential Investigation Commission of Inquiry on the EFCC that;
“On January 16, 2016, we made a return to NFIU, which indicated that there was a transaction of an inflow of well over N573million. (N573,228,40).”
“This return was said to be in favour of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries Account No 1486743019.”
“After that report, we conducted an investigation and discovered that the lodgement which we reported to NFIU was an error.”
“The error was as a result of the migration from an application to another.”
“Usually, when the bank intends to migrate from one application to another, we utilize weekends to carry out the exercise.”
“The migration involves moving all the balances of customers from the previous application to the new application. The account of the Divine Hand Ministries was moved during that migration.”
“In that branch, we have 983 accounts (Banex). The credit balance in all the 983 accounts domiciled came to the aforesaid amount. It was that balance of N573million that was wrongly posted as an inflow into Divine Hand Ministries as reported to NFIU.”
“This error was not peculiar to Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries alone but was also ascribed to 27 other accounts.”
On why the bank detected the error after four years, he said “the bank just realized the error upon invitation by the panel.”
“The Chairman of the panel, Justice Isa Ayo Salami asked: You admitted this monumental error and you are trivializing it. Do you know how many lives would have been lost to such a costly error?”
“The panel thereafter directed FCMB to write officially to NFIU to apologise for misleading it.”
Be that as it may, Magu’s lawyer, Shittu who seemed to be very bitter with the bank, said;
“The nation and the international community have gone with the impression that the pastor bought N573 million assets for Magu.”
“I will seek the permission of the panel to clarify the N573million to the public, if the situation demands. It was embarrassing.”
“I wish to express disgust, displeasure and monumental embarrassment to my client. Such humongous amount was said to be an inflow purportedly used to buy houses for Magu in Dubai.”
“It is unfortunate that Magu has been maligned because of such a costly error. We are considering our legal options against FCMB and those who published the allegations designed to disparage Magu.”