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Femi Otedola alleges fraudulent activities in Zenith Bank account, sparks investigation



Femi Otedola alleges fraudulent activities in Zenith Bank account, sparks investigation

Femi Otedola alleges fraudulent activities in Zenith Bank account, sparks investigation

Billionaire magnate Femi Otedola has thrust the financial world into turmoil with explosive allegations of suspected fraud involving Zenith Bank, helmed by Chairman Jim Ovia. The saga, which dates back to 2011, has intensified as Otedola accuses Ovia of orchestrating multibillion-naira fraudulent trades through the Zenith Bank account of his company, Seaforce Shipping Limited, without his knowledge or consent – an egregious violation of trust that has sent shockwaves throughout the business community.

The revelation, brought to light by TheCable, has prompted the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) to launch a comprehensive probe into the allegations, while attempts are being made to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels.

Otedola alleges that despite Seaforce Shipping’s operational dormancy since 2010, its account at Zenith Bank continued to be utilized for trading activities without his authorization, a revelation that has stunned observers.

Crucially, Otedola maintains that Seaforce Shipping never sought nor received any loans from Zenith Bank, yet unauthorized trading activities worth billions of naira persisted within the account.

In a damning twist, Zenith Bank reportedly failed to produce crucial documentation, such as offer letters, to substantiate the alleged loans, casting doubt on the transparency of its operations.

Otedola claims to have only recently become aware of these suspicious activities, a staggering 13 years after the transactions transpired, thanks to a whistleblower within Zenith Bank who alerted him to the irregularities.

Upon confronting Zenith Bank officials, TheCable reports that they issued a formal apology to Otedola. However, doubts persist as Seaforce’s auditors received a letter dated March 19, 2018, from Zenith Bank indicating a significantly lower debt owed by Seaforce compared to the astronomical figures reflected in the bank statements obtained by TheCable.

The discrepancy between the stated debt in the letter and the actual figures on the bank statement raises further questions about Zenith Bank’s handling of Seaforce’s account.

Moreover, Otedola is puzzled by the substantial reduction in the purported debt, from over N16 billion to N11 billion, with no knowledge of the transactions responsible for this adjustment.

Transactions dated April 18, 2011, and December 1, 8, 12, and 15, 2011, reveal substantial credits totaling millions of naira, further deepening the mystery surrounding Seaforce’s financial affairs.

As the investigation progresses, a senior bank official has already been interrogated by the police, marking a pivotal moment in unraveling the truth behind Seaforce’s financial discrepancies.

Meanwhile, legal action has been initiated, with an injunction obtained against Zenith Bank and other entities, prohibiting them from trading shares or disbursing dividends until further notice, underscoring the gravity of the allegations levied against Zenith Bank and its affiliates.

As the investigation unfolds, the financial landscape braces for potential upheaval, with the outcome poised to reverberate far beyond the confines of Otedola’s allegations, shaping the future of corporate governance and accountability in Nigeria’s financial sector.

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