A CIVIL rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to stop the plan to sell a commercial bank (Polaris Bank) as reported in a section of the media.
There were reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN had sold the bank secretly.
The group said if the commercial bank was sold, it would compound the harsh economy Nigerians were going through.
Although the management of Polaris Bank Limited had debunked the report, describing it as a “fake news report”, urging the public to disregard it.
The Bank through a statement described the report as speculative and deliberately intended to create panic.
But a statement of caution yesterday in Abuja, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, criticised the alleged lack of transparency in the reported sale of Polaris Bank.
While calling on the President to avoid negative effect of such move, HURIWA said: “President Buhari should stop the planned sale of the bank immediately.
“Recall that Emefiele was also allegedly fingered in the ridiculous sale of 104-year-old Union Bank by two-year-old Titan Trust Bank. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should have probed the CBN governor over this allegation which is contrary to Sections 9 and 11 of the CBN ACT 2007 but as usual, the former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, is an untouchable cabinet member of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The CBN should be stopped from allegedly selling off banks in the country to cronies and friends as end-of-tenure benefits.”
The statement also called on the apex bank to issue a statement statement on the position of the bank on the matter in order to douse tension among the customers and stakeholders of the Bank.
According to HURIWA, “It is concerning that the so-called sale lacks transparency and is shrouded in so much darkness as no due diligence was carried out, no tender, no advertisement to create public awareness, nothing, just some kangaroo and arrangee sale.
“To be exact, selling a bank which over N1.2 trillion was used to rescue at an alleged N40 billion is highly ridiculous and scandalous.”