Exclusive: How Festus Fadeyi’s N240bn debt ruined Skye Bank

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Skye Bank

AN independent audit report into the defunct Skye Bank has revealed how Festus Fadeyi of Pan Ocean Group contributed in ruining the bank by securing one of the biggest loan portfolio which he has not been able to repay.

Realnews reports that of the total N500 billion owed Skye Bank by heavy debtors, Fadeyi’s share is more than N240 billion. This heavy indebtedness to the bank led to the collapse of Skye Bank Plc and its eventual takeover by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, about two years ago.

Realnews recalls that the operating licence of Skye Bank was revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on September 21, 2018, as the bank could no longer meet its obligation.

According to the report by the independent auditors, which is yet to be made public, Fademi of the Pan Ocean Group’s cumulatively secured a total of more than N240 billion, (almost half of the total debt of Skye Bank) thus making it the most heavily indebted company to the bank. The remaining huge debt is owed by nine other other customers of the bank.

Realnews also noted that these was a case of conflict of interest as this large debt was incurred in the bank when the Fadeyi was represented on the board by his son, Jason Fadeyi while Tunde Ayeni, was chairman of the bank.

It was gathered that top on the list of issues that killed the hitherto big bank included serious insider dealings, non-existent corporate governance structure, loan racketeering to friends and cronies and bad management just to mention a few. All these malpractices and reckless abuse by the leadership of the bank, made it possible for a few individuals to gratuitously expose the bank to the tune of over N500 billion.

A Realnews source, who wishes anonymity, observed that “Although there is a long list of those who ordinarily should be in jail as a result of their roles in the eventual collapse of the bank, it was frightening to note that only one individual accounted for a debt exposure to the bank in excess of over N240 billion, which is more than the annual budget of the country’s ministry of works for instance.

“Additional dirty details of these transactions revealed that Pan Ocean Group promoted by Festus Fadeyi, a flamboyant oil and gas businessman, owed the bank over N240 billion. He was represented on the board by his son when all the funds were taken.

“Although these individuals have ruined lives as well as investments made by hundreds if not thousands of the bank’s innocent shareholders, most of who we gathered lost lifetime investments when the bank died. However, Fadeyi among others, who killed the bank have continued to live their life in total opulence, which is a reflection of a weak financial regulatory laws in the country.”

Realnews reports that Skye Bank Plc collapsed in 2018 leading to its takeover by the federal government of Nigeria through AMCON, which injected a fresh cash of about N786 billion. AMCON had to step in because the bank required urgent recapitalisation to save thousands of jobs and depositors’ money.

“In other climes such people that have brought distress to a bank and untold hardship to innocent depositors should indeed be made to account for what happened to the bank,” the source said.

– June 14, 2020 @ 3:

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