FG Sacks Board of  Union Bank, Titan Trust Bank

The shares of Union Bank were delisted from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in November, 2023 following acquisition of the financial service institution in 2021.

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FG Sacks Board of  Union Bank, Titan Trust BankThe Federal Government has sacked the board of Union Bank Limited in an apparent move to effectively take over the financial service institutions

It is believed that the action follows the recommendation of the Special Investigator, Jim Obazee, appointed by President Bola Tinubu in July 2023, to probe the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant establishments.

Sources in Union Bank confirmed to BRANDPOWER that the announcement was made to members of staff earlier today and that the directors had started clearing their desks.

Obaze in his report had insisted that the acquisition of Union Bank by Titan Bank lacked transparency and recommended that the two financial institutions be forfeited by the Federal government.

Obaze said, “We were able to secure some documents, and the investigation reports will lead to the forfeiture of the two banks to the Federal Government. We have completed our investigation on this acquisition and have also held meetings with the relevant parties except for Mr. Cornelis Vink, (who is currently hospitalised in Switzerland).

“Otherwise, we are on the verge of recovering these two banks for the Federal Government.”

However, Babatunde Lemo, chairman and Cornelius Vink, Chief Executive of Titan Trust Bank had issued statements insisting that the acquisition of Union Bank followed due process.

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The shares of Union Bank were delisted from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in November, 2023 following acquisition of the financial service institution in 2021.

The delisting of Union Bank led to the loss of N132 billion from the market capitalisation of the local bourse.

Amidst these developments, it remains uncertain if the Investigator’s recommendation provides legal grounds to enforce share forfeiture without a court ruling, leaving questions regarding the investigation’s legal scope on the matter unanswered.

Following their position that the acquisition of Union Bank was transparent, the Investigator invited the Titan Trust Bank chairman and chief executive to make an appearance before him.

Lemo, a former CBN deputy governor, had received the directive, dated December 24, 2023, to appear at the Department of Force Intelligence in Abuja on Thursday December 21. The summons specifically requested his presence alongside Cornelius Vink and Rahul Savara, key figures linked to Titan Trust Bank.

Lemo, however, wrote the Special investogator requesting for a later date and explaining that Cornelis Vink could not be at the meeting as he was hospitalised outside Nigeria.

It is also believed that the board of Titan Trust Bank which but over Union Bank was also dissolved.

Indusry watchers are however wondering if Obaze’s investigative committee has the legal basis to execute its own recommendations.

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