Bank CEO in trouble over illegal Forex deals with betting firms, as CBN gives all banks 24 hours to submit 7 years Forex transactions of top betting and gaming operators

WorldStage Newsonline– All Nigeria’s banks have 24 hours from September 15th till today to furnish the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with the domiciliary account statements of the top operators of betting and gaming companies in the country from January 1, 2013 to July 31, 2020.

Specifically, the banks are required to furnish the CBN with the domiciliary account statements of the some individuals, including the domiciliary accounts linked to them by Bank Verification Number (BVN) during the seven year period.

The directive, according to sources was initiated to fish out some transactions which were  in violation of the extant foreign exchange (FX) regulations.

Top on the list of the operators which the CBN had demanded for their accounts is Chief Kesington A. Adebutu, the chairman of Premier Lotto limited also known as Baba Ijebu and his children, Adebisi A Adebutu, Ajibola Bankole Adebutu, Olanipekun Orekoya Adebutu, and Olusegun Ladiran Adebutu.

Also on the list are Adekunle O Soname, the chairman and co-founder of Bet9ja and Ayodeji Ojuroye, the CEO and co-founder.

Also requested for are the forex accounts transactions of Domenico Giovando, an Italian millionaire and one of the owners of Gamcode Ltd, the operators of Betin betting firm.

Others include, accounts of David Patric Grogan, Mauro Ripamonti, Charbel Jabbour Chidiac, Akinola Adekunle Alabi, Oluwadamilare Olubukola Alabi, Oluwafemi Babalola, Adetayo Cosmas Adesanwo, and Byron Powell

Meanwhile, the Managing Director/CEO of one of banks, name withheld, has run into trouble over processing some transactions in violation of the extant foreign exchange (FX) regulations.

According to sources, the bank’s boss had pleaded for clemency at a meeting held by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele  with the  bank and stakeholders of seven betting and gaming companies on September 11, 2020.

The betting and gaming companies were also said to have entreated the governor to allow them discharged operational expenses.

The CBN in correspondence with the bank on Monday, September 14, 2020 said consequently its management had magnanimously granted the bank the approval to honour instruments presented by the affected companies for payment of winnings, salaries and other overhead expenses.

“However, please note that the post-no-debit restriction on the accounts of the companies is still in place, subject to the identified exceptions. Accordingly, no other transaction should be processed for any of the companies during the period of this waiver,” CBN said.

“You are to open a subsidiary account from where payment of winnings, salaries and other restricted operational expenses which as purchase of diesel (other overhead expenses) will be passed into weekly. The debit on the subsidiary account will be vetted by the CBN and swept into the main account after approval from the CBN.

“Finally, you are required to forward a weekly report for the CBN approval of clearance of the debit in the subsidiary account.”

Sources said the betting companies had taken out a lot of Forex for themselves and some people over the past two years.

Industry observers believed that the banks, betting and gaming operators’ dirty deals came into open through the Late Senator Kashamu Buruji who before he died, was trying to get the betting companies to buy some service rights through his company alone. When the deal broke down, he was said to have started petitioning the CBN about their Forex runs.

He was said to have had a major battle with Baba Ijebu, his major rival, but later begged for his life when Baba Ijebu started dealing with him. He was said to have even relinquished some of the rights to Baba Ijebu before his death.

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