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Sterling bank boss in N20bln mess as EFCC wades in

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated Abubakar Suleiman, the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc, and two other senior executives of the bank over the ‘hidden’ N20 billion reportedly belonging to the Kogi State government.

In August 2021, the EFCC stated that it had credible intelligence that funds alleged to be proceeds of illicit activities were in an account named Kogi State Salary Account with account number 0073572696 at Sterling Bank Plc.

The money was supposed to be a rescue fund for the state to pay workers’ salaries, but it was allegedly moved to an interest-bearing account as state employees moan in poverty.

The state government, on the other hand, categorically disputed the allegations. The EFCC, on the other hand, claimed that the diverted funds had been recovered and remitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a transaction that the apex bank had apparently acknowledged.

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According to the EFCC, the apex bank informed the executive chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, that the money had been received in a letter titled DFD/DIR/CON/EXT/01/099 and dated November 9, 2021.

“We refer to your letter of November 5, 2021 on the aforementioned subject with Ref. No: CR:3000/EFCC/LS/CMU/REC-STE/VOL.4/047 and desire to confirm the following information of the receipt of the amount: The commission stated, “Bank: Sterling Bank Plc; Amount: N19, 333, 333.36; Date of receipt: 04 November 2021.”

ENigeria Newspaper reports that even though the money is in the CBN coffers, the Kogi State government has continued to insist that it neither authorized the opening nor operated the bank account, an assertion confirmed by Sterling Bank.

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“Let it be known that the Kogi government has disbursed its bailout loans for the purpose of which it was granted as at October 2019,” said Kogi State commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo.

“There is, therefore, no hidden bailout funds/loan belonging to Kogi that is capable of being returned to the CBN or frozen by order of court. The EFCC knows this, which is why it withdrew the suit it filed in court on the bailout fund.”

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The Kogi State House of Assembly had also summoned the CEO of the bank to appear before it in person for clarification on the N20 billion bailout fund.

However, Sterling Bank had admitted that Kogi State Bailout Account exists in its record and “categorized under the account type ‘Intervention Fund,’” even though it was not opened by the state government or at its instance.

According to inside source, rising from this development, the EFCC invited and interrogated the Sterling Bank boss, Abubakar Suleiman alongside two other officials of the bank for several hours to get the true picture of the circumstances around the said account. Abubakar Suleiman and other officials were released after intense interrogation and they were to return anytime the EFCC needed them on the matter.

It was however gathered that Abubakar Suleiman has allegedly made a useful statement to the commission while investigation is still on.

“The bank’s officials were grilled for several hours by the EFCC on the matter and going by their statements, heads may roll soon,” a source said.

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Speaking further, the source divulged, “If the bank says the account was not opened and operated by the Kogi State government, then something is fishy and the bank must answer to it.”

“Who authorized the opening of the fixed deposit account and when? Who are/were/was the signatory to the account? How much had been withdrawn from the account since 2019? And who is keeping the N666.7 million which made up the balance of N20 billion initially said to be deposited into the bailout account? These are some of the questions the EFCC is trying to unravel.”

Recent events have however placed the Abubakar Suleiman led Sterling Bank nulli secondus with scandals. The troubled lender is responsible for everything from fraud to sloppy balance sheets and other nefarious acts, making it almost impossible to bank with the supposed “One Customer Bank” with both eyes closed.

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Winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship gets listed in The World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR)

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L-R: Kayode Oguntayo, Director, Concierge Sports Limited; Taiwo Okeowo, Deputy Managing Director, FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited; Dr. Anthony Oboh, Golf Captain, Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938; Olusegun Alebiosu, Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited presenting the trophy to Emmanuel Ojeabulu, winner of the 61st Lagos Open Golf Championship; Nkoli Moka, Lady Captain, Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938; Akinwumi Akintola, Vice Chairman, Ikoyi Club 1938 and Ibukun Obatoyinbo; Director, Concierge Sports Limited at the prize presentation and awards dinner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship held recently at the Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938, Ikoyi, Lagos

Winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship gets listed in The World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR)
Emmanuel Ojeabulu, winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Open Golf Championship has been listed in the WAGR.

The premier golf championship which was held from 18 – 20 November at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 was keenly contested by over 190 low handicap players from several golf clubs in the country. Benin based Emmanuel Ojeabulu won the 3-day championship.

Playing three-shots off the pace going into the last 18-holes, Ojeabulu played one of the best golf of his life, maintaining steady pars for a closing 74, 3-over the course par to win the World Amateur Golf Ranking recognized event by two shots.

Ojeabulu started his game with an opening 75, a second day score of 78 and a closing 74 to replace Ilorin based Aminu Kadir, the tournament defending champion on the winners list.

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Overnight leader, 20-year-old product of David Mark Golf Academy, George Paul who was tipped to win the tournament collapsed under pressure closing with an unimpressive 79 to lose by two-shots.

In the third position is Muyideen Olaitan, three-time winner of the coveted FirstBank Lagos Open trophy while Iyare Osaze was further down on the winners chart by one-shot, leaving perennial contender, Olajide Owolabi, who shot tournaments best score of 72 on day two of the competition in the fifth position.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, sponsors of the annual Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has pledged its commitment to the continuous sponsorship of the tournament which is one of the longest running golf tournaments in Nigeria.

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Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 61st edition of the tournament in Lagos on Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan who was represented by Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited Mr. Olusegun Alebiosu said “This year made it 61 years of our undiluted commitment to this cause, and we are absolutely delighted with the amazing support and partnership we have enjoyed from Ikoyi Club 1938 thus contributing to building a legacy not only for golf and golfers, but sports in its entirety.

To all the amateur golfers produced at this year’s championship, these champions are an inspiration and testament that you can do the impossible and I look forward to celebrating you as winners in future championships. Remember that in the words of Ben Hogan, “The most important shot in Golf is the next one”, he added.

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Satisfied with the turnout of the participants, Golf Captain, Tony Oboh thanked the sponsors for keeping the tournament going, saying FirstBank commitment should be emulated.

“It is not easy to keep a tournament like this going, I therefore congratulate FirstBank for their commitment”, Oboh said.

Since its debut, FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has been the most consistent and premier amateur golf event in West Africa and has produced great champions most of who are competing in the elite professional golf cadre. Last year, the Championship threw up Ilorin based Aminu Kadir who won the landmark edition. It is expected that this year’s edition will produce another great winner.

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Other FirstBank-sponsored sporting events include the Georgian Cup of Kaduna Polo Tournament, sponsored for 102 years; the Dala Tennis Hard Court in Kano Club for over 30 years; the Obasanjo Pro-Amateur Golf tournament of Abeokuta Club now in its 6th year. The Bank’s influence in the development of sport in Nigeria is under its First@Sport initiative.

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OmegaPro Spearheads The Biggest Event In The History Of Maldives

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OmegaPro took over Maldives for one whole week and organized the biggest event the island has ever seen.

Over 1,000 people from the OmegaPro community, founders, celebrated football legends like the Spanish and Barcelona great Carles Puyol, French wizard Eric Abidal, Colombian icon Faryd Mondragón, Bollywood superstars, Indian cricketers and more congregated on the supremely exotic Siyam World in Maldives.

Celebration, Education, live-mentoring & group brainstorming sessions, football tournaments, and life-transforming self-empowerment seminars – this one-of-a-kind event will go down as the biggest event in the history of Maldives for a long time to come.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa. This was the prime motive that saw the dawn of the greatest event in the history of Maldives, spearheaded by global marketing leader OmegaPro.

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Eric Worre conducting an intensive training session to more than 1,000 people at Diamond Trip Maldives

Community – The focal point of human experience

OmegaPro sees these events to promote its ideology – “Grow as One”

One aspect of OmegaPro’s community-centric approach is to increase self-esteem and cultivate a sense of belonging & oneness among the community members. It enables people to share personal relatedness and support the perpetual growth of each other, ourselves and our environment.

Leadership – The crux of success

“Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.”

As the OmegaPro organization is breaking ceilings and scaling newer heights, having the right people with the right mindset and drive is a critical component, not just for the benefit of the organization but also for the ever growing community’s happiness and the business’s overall culture.

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OmegaPro believes that when building a business, a leader and their team set out on a journey together. Part of building a strong relationship with the people who work with you is knowing how their goals align with the organization. Through this event, OmegaPro, transformed many followers into truly inspirational leaders to shape a better tomorrow for their respective communities.

In Maldives, OmegaPro, with the help of its official strategic coach Eric Worre, set the direction and goals to help people converge toward a common goal, and empower them to reach their full potential and stay motivated.

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Eric Worre even put forth strategies to push the horizon and seek innovative ways to achieve unparalleled success.

The other aspect of the community-centered approach of OmegaPro is to inculcate a sense of ownership in people. OmegaPro is a firm believer of the fact that one must feel personally and positively impacted by the success of the mission. “Leadership is the cornerstone of a strong community.”

OmegaPro’s vision to “Breaking Barriers Through Education, Shaping Leaders Of Tomorrow” is being carried out through extensive training with unique and effective skill development programs. With resources customized to perfection by the greatest legends of the respective industries, OmegaPro is on its way to become the one-stop destination for accessing fundamental tools, special materials, dedicated coaches and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

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Gideon Adebisi, an OmegaPro Diamond Executive in Maldives

An ode to the OmegaPro community

Celebrating victories and milestones is just as important as achieving and accomplishing them. Diamond Trip Maldives was all about honoring the phenomenal grit and determination shown by the diligent members of the community and to get them ready for the road forward.

screenshot 2022 11 18 at 08 24 01 carles puyol and mario yepes omegapro.jpg.webp (webp image 790 × 367 pixels)

Legendary footballers Carles Puyol and Mario Yepes snapped on arrival at the OmegaPro Diamond Cup in Maldives

screenshot 2022 11 18 at 08 24 06 omegapro 2022 maldives.jpg.webp (webp image 790 × 367 pixels)

Beloved community members acknowledging OmegaPro

About OmegaPro

OmegaPro is a global marketing leader with a massive education platform offering the best skill development training to empower the OmegaPro Community. With resources customized to perfection by the greatest legends of the respective industries, OmegaPro is a one-stop destination for accessing fundamental tools, special materials, dedicated coaches and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

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OmegaPro is on a mission to Break Barriers Through Education To Create Leaders Of Tomorrow. Through education, OmegaPro has become the home and benchmark of new opportunities that are always ahead of the curve and supported by an elaborate team dedicated to your ambition and your success.

OmegaPro houses an extensive array of relevant educational tools, renowned personnel and acclaimed resources as one of the most beloved and trusted learning platforms of its kind with a firm focus on the priceless mantra – Mentorship for the best can only be delivered by the best. With our community’s faith at the epicenter of OmegaPro’s operations combined with over five decades of cumulative expertise acting as the perfect catalyst, we are here to deliver a first-class learning environment as we keep marching on.

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Since our inception in 2019, OmegaPro now proudly has a massive community of over 2,500,000 active members and is growing by the blink of an eye as we scale greater heights every single day. And, we like to believe that this is only the very beginning of an incredible journey that awaits us and our community. Welcome to the revolution of tomorrow as we aim to orchestrate a better future. Visit www.omegapro.network

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Funmilayo Falola quits Wema Bank, joins ENGIE Energy Access as Global Head Of Communications

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The leading Pay-As-You-Go solar and mini-grids solutions provider in Africa, ENGIE Energy Access, has appointed consumer marketing professional, Funmilayo Falola as its Global Head of Communications.

The company, which aims to remain the leading clean energy company operates in nine countries across Africa (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) with more than 1.5 million customers and over 8 million lives impacted so far.

At ENGIE Energy Access (Africa), she will oversee the communication strategies including the brand, image, and product, while providing support for the company across the region.

Before joining ENGIE Energy Access (Africa), Falola was the Head, Marketing Communications & Investor Relations at Wema Bank Plc.

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Prior to pitching her tent with Wema Bank, she worked at First Bank of Nigeria Ltd as the Head, Internal Communications & Merchandising & Warehousing where she developed and implemented the year-on-year internal communications strategy in alignment with the overall marketing strategy.

She started her career at CentrespreadFCB (now CentrespreadGREY) in 2005 where she cut her teeth as a Senior Executive – Business Development between 2005 and 2006, and rising through the ranks to the position of Client Service & Strategy in 2009.

Falola holds a Bachelor of Science, Political Science from the University of Lagos, UNILAG, in 2002. She proceeded to earn a Master of Business Administration, MBA in Marketing, from the same institution in year 2020.

She also has a Post Graduate Diploma, Marketing from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

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