Heritage Bank refutes allegation of insolvency

Heritage Bank MD, Ifie Sekibo

Heritage Bank Plc has said that it is not true that it failed to honour the withdrawal request of one of its customers, Geonel Integrated Services because it has liquidity problems.
The bank in a quick reaction to a story trending online in which the said customer is requesting an Abuja High Court and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to wind up the bank, said that the account in question is under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to the bank, “We want to categorically state that the allegation is not true as the Geonel Integrated Services Limited’s account is currently being investigated for financial crimes by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
“The bank was advised formally to freeze the account by the federal agency through court injunction pending when the investigation will be concluded. The investigation is still ongoing and the bank is under obligation to respect a valid order of court.
“We want to state categorically that Heritage Bank is not distressed as being malevolently reported, the bank is capable to honour its obligations to customers and numerous stakeholders alike.”
Geonel Integrated Services Limited had yesterday approached the Federal High Court in Abuja asking it and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to wind up and revoke the operational licence of the Heritage Bank over an alleged state of financial insolvency of the financial institution.
The company in a petition filed against the bank at the Federal High Court alleged that Heritage Bank has been showing signs of distress and insolvency in the recent times and may cause colossal economic damages to Nigerians unless it is wind up on court order.
In the petition filed by the security outfit, it claimed that it maintains four separate accounts with Nos. 1300083902, 6200100931, 6000105125 and 3200121515 as well as a fixed deposit account at the Abuja branch of the bank.
Petitioner owned by a foreign investor, Mr. Wolfgang Reinl, an Australian Security Experts claimed it has N1,811,555,258 and another $85,859 in the accounts and that the huge sums have been trapped in the bank due to its inability to meet up with its expected obligations.
Petitioner alleged that in January last year, a Judge of the court, Binta Murtala Nyako granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) an order to freeze the accounts for a period of six months to carry out some investigations.
It claimed that the order granted EFCC expired on July 24, 2016 and that the same Justice Binta Murtala Nyako confirmed expiration of the order in her ruling delivered on November 16, 2016.
As a result of the inability of the bank to honour its obligations, the petitioner claimed that it has been actively instigating the EFCC to secure a fresh order to stop it from accessing or operating the accounts so as to cover up its distressed status.
It however said that in spite of the public denial of the distress, the bank has been unable to honour several financial obligations to customers rushing to withdraw their money to escape unpleasant economic effects..
Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the petition.


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