A viral image on Facebook claims that the managing directors of Zenith, Jaiz, and Providus Banks were arrested over an alleged fraud involving the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.
The image, which is a photo collage of the three bank CEOs, was posted by a Facebook user named Aypade Ojeniyi with the caption: “Captured over Betta Edu: the MD/CEO of Zenith Bank, Provides Bank Jaiz Bank…”
The affected CEOs include; Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu (Zenith Bank), Haruna Musa (Jaiz Bank) and Walter Akpani (Providus Bank)
The Facebook user shared a link to Daily Blast, an online platform which published a report with the headline: “EFCC arrests Zenith, Providus, Jaiz CEOs over involvement in Betta Edu, Sadiya Umar-Farouk’s alleged fraud”.
The Explainer visited the EFCC’s website and its official X handle but found no evidence or press release of the arrest of the bank CEOs.
The Explainer also visited the official X pages of Jaiz Bank, Zenith Bank and Providus Bank, in which they issued statements denying the arrest and clarifying their interaction with the EFCC.
Jaiz Bank tweeted a document with the caption: “JAIZ Bank Clarifies: MD/CEO was never arrested by the EFCC.” The document stated that the EFCC had requested certain documents, which the bank had provided to assist in the investigation.
“The interaction was very cordial and Jaiz Bank MD immediately resumed back to his duties,” it added.
Zenith Bank also tweeted a statement reported by the media that claims that its managing director had been arrested were “entirely false”. “The Group Managing Director was not arrested or detained by the EFCC or any other anti-graft agency and is currently fulfilling his duties at the bank,” the statement said.
The Explainer also checked the online platform, Daily Blast, which published the report, and found that the platform does not have contact details, editorial policy, or disclaimer.
In the context of the law, the terms “arrest” and “invitation” are related to the actions taken by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria. The EFCC is an agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting economic and financial crimes in the country.
When referring to the EFCC, “arrest” typically involves the apprehension and detention of individuals suspected of committing economic and financial crimes. The EFCC has the power, granted by law, to arrest individuals suspected of such offences. Upon arrest, the EFCC can detain the individual for a specified period, subject to the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and other relevant laws.
On the other hand, “invitation” by the EFCC refers to a request for an individual to appear before the commission to provide information, answer questions, or participate in an investigation. An invitation does not involve physical detention or restriction of movement. It is a means for the EFCC to gather information or seek clarification from individuals who may be related to a case or have useful insights regarding an ongoing investigation.
It’s important to note that an invitation by the EFCC does not carry the same legal consequences and implications as an arrest. However, it is generally advisable to comply with an EFCC invitation, as failure to do so without a valid reason could lead to further legal actions or complications. It is important to consult with legal counsel if you receive an invitation or have concerns about your rights and obligations in such situations.
*The EFCC did not arrest or detain any of the bank CEOs, but only invited them for questioning as part of its investigation into the allegations against Edu. The bank CEOs have denied any wrongdoing and said they cooperated with the EFCC.
The Explainer therefore concludes that the claim that the managing directors of Zenith Bank, Jaiz Bank, and Providus Bank were arrested by the EFCC over their involvement in the alleged fraud perpetrated by Betta Edu is false and misleading.