The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Adam Nuru, has claimed that the N573 million traced to the church account of Emmanuel Omale, founder of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries, where Ibrahim Magu, suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), worships, was sent in error.
Nuru made the shocking claim while facing the Justice Ayo Salami panel that is investigating the financial allegations made against Magu. The N573 million was sent to the account in 2016, but FCMB's Nuru said the mistake wasn't noticed until four years after.
The company only realized it accidentally sent funds belonging to other customers to an account owned by Magu's Pastor when the panel invited the bank to explain the money traced to the account No: 1486743019, Business Day reported. The Pastor was said to have bought a property for Magu in Dubai from the N573 million after allegedly laundering the money.
While defending the action of FCMB, Nuru said FCMB made an error in its return to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) while moving customers' balance during an upgrade of one of its application tools. That was how the N573 million was sent to the clergy.
But shockingly, in the last three years, despite the enormous size of the money, FCMB didn't discover the mistake under Nuru until the panel began an investigation into Magu in July and the panel summoned FCMB management after tracing the amount linked to Magu's financial discrepancies to FCMB.
While explaining to the panel on Thursday, August 6, 2020, Nuru said, “This return was said to be in favour of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries Account No 1486743019,” He said, adding that, "After that report, we conducted an investigation and discovered that the lodgement which we reported to NFIU was an error.
“The error was as a result of the fact that we were using a bank application called Pinnacle-7. However, we migrated from that application to a newer version called Pinnacle-10.
“Usually, when the bank intends to migrate from one application to another, we utilize weekends to carry out the exercise. The migration involves moving all the balances of customers from the previous application to the new application. The account of the Divine Hand Ministries was moved during that migration.
“In that branch, we have 983 accounts (Banex). The credit balance in all the 983 accounts domiciled came to the aforesaid amount. It was that balance of N573 million that was wrongly posted as an inflow into Divine Hand Ministries as reported to NFIU,” he said.
The FCMB boss also defended his claim with another shocking statement by disclosing that the transfer error which was done four years ago also happened to 27 other accounts.