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Zenith Bank confirms Sirika’s daughter owns a company linked to N1.4 billion Aviation contract

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Zenith Bank confirms Sirika’s daughter owns a company linked to N1.4 billion Aviation contract

Zenith Bank confirms Sirika’s daughter owns a company linked to N1.4 billion Aviation contract

A compliance officer from Zenith Bank Plc, Mishelia Arhyel, told the Federal Capital Territory High Court Abuja on Tuesday that former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika’s daughter, Fatima, and son-in-law, Jalal Hamma, owned Al-Buraq Global Investment Ltd, a company the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicted in an aviation fraud suit.

Arhyel testified as EFCC’s second witness in the fraud-related charges instituted against Hadi Sirika and his daughter, Fatima, son-in-law, Jalal Hamma, and Al-Buraq Investment Ltd.

The defendants had been arraigned before Justice Sylvanus Oriji of the FCT High Court.

EFCC’s Case
The EFCC had indicted Hadi Sirika, in an alleged contract fraud involving his daughter and son-in-law as well as fraudulent practices associated with the Nigeria Air debacle.

Sirika was accused of allegedly using his position to unfairly benefit Tianaero Nigeria Limited and Al Buraq Global Investment Ltd; companies allegedly associated with his associate, daughter, and son-in-law.

He was said to have influenced the award of contracts for the Nigerian Air project and the Apron Extension at Katsina Airport to these companies.

The EFCC alleges that N1.4 billion was approved to Al-Buraq for the Apron Extension contract at Katsina Airport.

The defendants are accused of breach of trust and misuse of public office to the tune of over N2 billion naira in contravention of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act and the Penal Code Act.

But they all pleaded not guilty to the charges paving the way for the commencement of trial.

What transpired in court
Led in evidence by EFCC lead counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Arhyel, said his role as a compliance officer involves receiving correspondence from law enforcement agencies on behalf of Zenith Bank and forwarding the same to appropriate authorities as well as responding to inquiries.

He confirmed that sometime in February 2023, the bank received a letter from EFCC making inquiries regarding accounts statements on Al-Buraq, Jalal Hama and Fatima.

The prosecution counsel then tendered the bank statements of the defendants and it was admitted by the court unopposed by the defense legal team.

Speaking to the documents, Arhyel told Justice Oriji that Al-Buraq was registered on June 17, 2021, and the directors are Hamal Jalal, Sirika Fatima Hadi and Shinade Saratu.

According to the witness, the ex-minister’s daughter and in-law have significant control over Al-Buraq.

“Sirika Fatima Hadi is the secretary of the company.

“Persons in significant control of the company are Hamal Jalal and Sirika Fatima Hadi.

“The signatories are Saratu Muhammad, Fatima Hadi Sirika, and Jalal Hamal,” the witness told the court corroborating EFCC’s allegations.

Earlier in the proceedings, Azubuike Okorie, a former Special Assistant to the ex-Aviation Minister, Projects(2022-2023) said it was the frustration posed by the Nigerian Air Force and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that prevented the execution of the Kastina Airport extension contract.

Under cross-examination by the defense team led by Kanu Agabi (SAN), Okorie said the contract went through due process and had nothing to do with the competence and honesty of the contractor.

The witness claimed the relationship between Sirika, his family members and associates was not a factor considered in the contract awarded to Al-Buraq.

The court subsequently adjourned the trial to June 20, 2024.

Backstory
The EFCC had said its operatives arrested Abubakar Ahmad Sirika, the brother of Hadi Sirika, over an alleged contract fraud in the aviation ministry.

Abubakar was picked up by the anti-graft agency on Sunday, February 4, following an investigation in the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development.

During his tenure as minister, Sirika faced allegations including conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering totalling N8,069,176,864.

The commission had revealed that the funds in dispute related to four aviation contracts awarded by the former minister to a company called Engirios Nigeria Limited, which is owned by his younger brother.

The EFCC is empowered by law to track financial crimes.

Every accused person remains innocent until found guilty by a competent court.

Sirika served as aviation minister from 22 August 2019 to 29 May 2023.

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Zenith Bank Capital Markets Day

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Zenith Bank Capital Markets Day

 

Highlights from the Zenith Bank Capital Markets Day held earlier today with the Founder & Chairman of Zenith Bank PLC Dr. Jim Ovia CFR, Dame Dr. Adaora Umeoji OON, GMD/CEO of Zenith Bank PLC, Executive Directors of the Bank; Dr. Henry Oroh, Dr. (Mrs) Adobi Nwapa, Mr. Akin Ogunranti, Mr. Lawani Adamu, Mr. Louis Odom; the Bank’s Chief Finance Officer Dr. Mukhtar Adam (PhD); the General Manager/Group Head Investor Relations & Corporate Development Mrs. Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani; existing and potential investors, analysts, stockmarket players, asset managers, customers and other members of the Senior Management Team of the Bank.

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GTCO Offers 9 Billion Shares At ₦44.50 Each, Envisions One Billion Dollar Profit

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GTCO Offers 9 Billion Shares At ₦44.50 Each, Envisions One Billion Dollar Profit

GTCO Offers 9 Billion Shares At ₦44.50 Each, Envisions One Billion Dollar Profit

 

Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), one of Nigeria’s largest lenders, is raising ₦400 billion in capital through a public offer anchored on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX).

The company is offering 9 billion shares at ₦44.50 each, with plans to invest the additional capital in profitable ventures in West Africa and East Africa, as well as recapitalize GTBank Nigeria, expand its asset management and pension businesses, and grow its loan portfolio.

According to Group CEO Segun Agbaje, GTCO has a track record of delivering strong returns, with a 29% average return on equity (RoAE) over the past ten years and a 253% return on investment over the same period.

The company has also made significant inroads into non-banking businesses, including fintech, asset management, and pension management, with plans to generate 5% of group profit from these businesses within three years.

Agbaje, in a “fact behind the offer” presentation at the NGX on monday, gave stakeholders compelling reasons to embrace the offer. He promised to soon make GTCO the first Nigerian company to realise a billion dollar profit.

He welcome the CBN directive to banks in Nigeria to upscale their capital threshold, following adverse economic headwinds that have seen continuous erosion of assets noting that GTCO already had plans to raise fresh capital months before thedirective.

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Zenith Bank Wins Best Commercial Bank In Nigeria And Best Corporate Governance Awards At World Finance 2024 Awards

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Zenith Bank Wins Best Commercial Bank In Nigeria And Best Corporate Governance Awards At World Finance 2024 Awards

Zenith Bank Wins Best Commercial Bank In Nigeria And Best Corporate Governance Awards At World Finance 2024 Awards

Zenith Bank Plc has emerged as the Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2024, retaining the award for a fourth consecutive year.

The bank was also named as Best Corporate Governance, Nigeria for the third year running in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2024.

The awards, which were published in the Summer 2024 Issue of the World Finance Magazine, are in recognition of the bank’s robust financial performance, superior customer service, sustainability initiatives and corporate governance practices.

Commenting on the dual honours, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, OON, remarked:

“These awards highlight our steadfast dedication to excellence, adherence to global best practices, and our persistent effort to deliver superior value to all stakeholders through innovative products and services. Receiving these awards consecutively for multiple years signifies the commitment of our staff, the loyalty of our customers, and the support of our shareholders. We remain devoted to setting industry benchmarks and driving excellence across all aspects of our operations.”

Dr. Umeoji expressed her delight at the recognition and dedicated the awards to the Founder and Chairman, Dr. Jim Ovia, CFR, for his impactful leadership in establishing a robust and flourishing institution. She also expressed gratitude to the board for their vision and insight, the staff for their unwavering dedication, and the bank’s customers for choosing Zenith as their preferred bank.

World Finance is a leading international magazine providing comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and the global economy.

The editorial combines award-winning reportage, covering a broad range of topics from banking and insurance to wealth management and infrastructure investment, with contributions from some of the world’s most well-respected economists and theorists as well as consultants in government think tanks and the World Economic Forum.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards, with these latest accolades coming on the heels of several recognitions including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital for the 14th consecutive year in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking, published by The Banker Magazine.

We were also awarded the Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards for 2020 and 2022; and Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria in the International Banker 2024 Banking Awards

Further recognitions include Best Bank in Nigeria for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022 in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards and Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023 in the World Finance Banking Awards.

Additionally, Zenith Bank has been acknowledged as the Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria, in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards for 2022 and 2023, and ‘Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa for four consecutive years from 2020 to 2023 by the Ethical Boardroom.

The bank’s commitment to excellence saw it being named the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands for 2020 and 2021 and Retail Bank of the Year for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022 at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

The bank also received the accolade of Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria, in the International Banker 2023 Banking Awards and Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria, in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.

Zenith Bank was named Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards

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