Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency said that both the Regional and Service managers of Sterling Bank were arrested and later granted administrative bail while the investigation continues.
Part of the statement by the ICPC said:
“ICPC busts Bank discovers N258m, makes arrests as Operatives of ICPC last week Friday, discovered the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight Million Naira (N258m) stashed in the vault at the head office of Sterling Bank in Abuja.
“This discovery followed one of the Commission’s operations at ensuring that commercial banks and other interest groups do not flout the apex bank’s directive. When the ICPC monitoring team visited the bank and discovered the stashed new Naira notes in the bank’s vault.
“It was informed that the cash was the remnant of what the CBN had given the bank for onward distribution to its branches. The team however found out that only the sum of Five Million Naira (N5m) each was distributed to their various branches.”
Operatives of ICPC last week Friday, discovered the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight Million Naira (N258m) stashed in the vault at the head office of Sterling Bank in Abuja. pic.twitter.com/CmYyREmjNH
— ICPC Nigeria (@icpcnigeria) February 7, 2023
The ICPC stated that the arrests were made after it investigated why the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were not dispensing cash to stranded customers.
“The Commission has also effected the arrest of the Head of Operations, Keystone Bank, Mararaba in Nasarawa State for frustrating its customers at getting the new Naira notes. The ICPC team, while on its routine operation, found out that the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) at the branch were not dispensing to its customers, while other bank customers were accessing only One Thousand Naira,” the ICPC said.
ICPC further noted that it was only after the arrest was made and clarification received from CBN that the position of the officers of the Bank was not correct and that the ATMs started dispensing Five Thousand Naira to non-customers and Ten Thousand Naira to its customers.
The three states had specifically applied for an order of Interim Injunction restraining “the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the commercial banks from suspending or determining or ending on February 10, 2023, the time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denomination of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.
Moving the application on Wednesday, counsel to the applicants, Mr A. I. Mustapha, SAN, had urged the apex court to grant the application in the interest of justice and the well-being of Nigeria.
He stated that the policy of the government had led to an “excruciating situation that is almost leading to anarchy in the land “.