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Ecobank indicted in over N800m fraud as MD, Akinwuntan battles to save head

Ecobank Nigeria Limited is currently swimming in an alleged N800m mess. In fact, for the financial institution led by Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, it has become a case of one day, one trouble as the bank led by Patrick Akinwuntan.
We learnt that Ecobank Nigeria, a key subsidiary of the Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and its management are allegedly the focus of Nigeria’s banking regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged financial scandals by the bank and its staffers.
As a result of all these, some insiders are alleging that Akinwuntan may be axed soon to pave way for a new lease of life for the commercial bank.
Top on the list of financial controversies which have bedevilled the bank is an alleged fraud running into N800 or above against the Nasarawa State government. This was unearthed by a forensic accounting consultancy firm based in Lagos and engaged by the Nasarawa State Board of Internal Revenue to assist in the improvement of its internally-generated revenue (IGR) base and had to do with excess bank charges, withholding tax on dividends, interest, and deposits against banks operating in the state from May 29, 1999.
After a hectic and thorough forensic auditing by the firm, it was discovered that the Akinwuntan-led Ecobank Nigeria Limited allegedly made the Nasarawa State government to lose over N800 million in unremitted tax and 10 per cent withholding tax on credit interest monies.
Another issue allegedly plaguing the bank is poor services.
“When Akinwuntan was appointed in 2018 as the managing director, the board of the bank gave a mandate to deliver the brand promise of the bank as the platform of choice for convenient, affordable and instant banking services to customers in Nigeria, but today, the reverse is the case,” lamented a source.
When our reporter contacted Ecobank’s head of media relations, Mr. Austen Osokpor, for the bank’s angle, he promised to get back to our reporter but never did as at the time of filing this report.

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