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Report: Nigeria probes banking transactions, executives

The CentralBank of Nigeria and local regulatory authorities initiated probesinto various banking transactions and questioned bank executives followingaccusations of illegal activity, Reuters reported May 10.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission investigatedseveral local lenders for carrying out potentially unlawful deals in the run upto the 2015 presidential election, banking sources told Reuters. The centralbank said it is trying to determine "the extent and persons that may beinvolved in such activities," Reuters noted.

The EFCC reportedly arrested Fidelity Bank Plc Managing Director and CEO NnamdiOkonkwo for allegedly receiving $115 million from former Minister of PetroleumResources Diezani Alison-Madueke. Okonkwo was released May 6, according to abank official.

Sterling BankPlc said the commission questioned CEO Adeyemi Adeola and othersenior management about the relationship that the lender has with a nonbankfinancial institution client. We affirm for the public records that the bankdoes not hold the account of the public officer from the previous administrationto which this matter has been linked either officially or otherwise,"Sterling Bank said.

Access BankPlc reportedly said that authorities investigated the lender for atransaction with a customer and also interrogated Group Managing Director andCEO Herbert Wigwe on May 6. Wigwe was released without charge on the same day,according to a statement from the bank.