The governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has accused the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, of playing a role in shielding Erasmus Akingbola, the corrupt former Chief Executive Officer of InterContinental Bank PLC, from serious prosecution.
Nigerian authorities asserted that the rogue former banking executive siphoned over N200 billion from the commercial bank he ran. Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission also accused Mr. Akingbola of using his loot to buy swanky properties in Europe and other parts of the world. The former InterContinental Bank chief also reportedly manipulated his bank’s stocks in insider trading deals.
Mr. Akingbola fled to the UK as soon as Nigerian authorities indicated their desire to try him. He was later forced to return to Nigeria, but his prosecution soon fizzled in what EFCC sources privately confided to be a deal hatched at the highest levels to let him walk free.
Mr. Sanusi hinted at Pastor’s Adeboye’s involvement in the deal in a widely circulated TEDX talk he gave in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. In the video, the CBN governor relates his encounters with vested interests in the banking sector.
Although Mr. Sanusi did not expressly mention Pastor Adeboye by name, SaharaReporters was able to confirm from two sources that the Redeemed Church leader was involved in the deals that led to the obstruction of Mr. Akingbola’s trial.
Justice Habeeb Abiru, who was handling Mr. Akingbola’s trial, was suddenly promoted to the Court of Appeals after Pastor Adeboye intervened on behalf of the rogue banker with President Goodluck Jonathan, one of the sources told SaharaReporters. Mr. Akingbola’s case has since stalled in a maze of judicial manipulations and is currently being tried by a third judge in Lagos.
In the video, the Central Bank Governor also makes a crucial retreat from the position he took during the fuel price hike protests of January 2012. Mr. Sanusi had publicly and forcefully defended the case for increasing the price of fuel and other gasoline products. But in the TED talk, he admits that Nigerians who revolted in the “Occupy Nigeria” protests after the Goodluck Jonathan administration unveiled higher fuel prices were right. Mr. Sanusi disclosed that most of the fuel subsidy funds had been stolen by highly connected individuals who continue to evade justice.