Trouble Looms As CBN Query Removal Of FirstBank MD/CEO

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued the Board of FirstBank Ltd, a query for the removal of its MD/CEO.

Brand Spur Nigeria recalls that the Board of Directors of First Bank through Ibukun Awosika announced the appointment of Gbenga Shobo as its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Barely 24 hours after the announcement, CBN queried First Bank expressing concern that the appointment of Shobo was done without the approval of the apex bank.

CBN said, “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to media reports that the Board of Directors has approved the removal of the current Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Sola Adeduntan, and appointed a successor to replace him. The CBN notes with concern that the action was taken without due consultation with the regulatory authorities, especially given the systemic importance of First Bank Ltd.”

The CBN also claimed that the tenure of Mr. Adedutan was yet to expire (bank MDs have a maximum of 10 years) and that they were also not aware of any misconduct of the former MD and as such there was no justification for his removal.

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“Given that the tenure of Dr. Adeduntan is yet to expire and the CBN was not made aware of any report from the Board indicting the Managing Director of any wrong-doing or misconduct, there appears to be no apparent justification for the precipitate removal.”

However, sources within the bank informed Nairametrics that First Bank has a maximum of 6 years tenure for its MDs in line with its succession plans. They also claimed the CBN is meddling in its internal affairs as the removal of the MD is in line with its succession plans and also does not exceed CBNs maximum of 10 years.

“First Bank followed its corporate governance framework in its change of leadership and appointment of new executive directors. No Managing Director in the 127 years history of FirstBank has ever attempted a tenure extension. Why now?”

Brand Spur Nigeria reports that as at the time of filing this report First Bank management is yet to issue an official reaction to CBN’s query.

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Further details coming soon…..

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