The Chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Dr. AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, has claimed that his position is threatened by the agency’s new Act signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Abdullateef, a lawyer, previously served as a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly Oshodi/Isolo Constituency II, before he was appointed Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Political and Legislative Powers, then later as commissioner for Home Affairs, Lagos State Government.
The NDIC board chairman was appointed by Buhari alongside six other board members on January 9, 2023. The former president sent their names to the Senate on March 22 and their appointments were confirmed by the lawmakers on May 9.
In a video posted on his verified Facebook page on Monday, he said that there is corruption in the corporation, which seems to threaten his job and that of the agency’s staff
He said, “I tell you NDIC stinks. There is a lot of rot going on. They say when you fight corruption, corruption fights you. The document you see in my hand is one of the ways corruption in Nigeria is fighting back.”
Holding documents in the video, which he claimed to be copies of the NDIC Act 2023, he accused the suspended CBN governor of taking power from the president regarding appointing executive and managing directors.
Commenting on the document, he said, “The cabals have taken over the NDIC. They took this particular Act to former president Buhari 48 hours to his leaving office. They knew at that time that the man was so busy and he will not be able to read everything there.”
He claimed that the National Assembly passed a board with representatives from all geopolitical zones as well as enabled the president to pick qualified persons for the roles of Managing Director and Executive Directors.
However, he said that the new Act passed by the president is different from what was signed by the president.
He said, “Another fraud was committed. This document that was signed is materially different from the vote and proceedings of the National Assembly that passed it.”
He added, “They have tied the hands of Mr President, and they said only someone recommended by Emefiele (CBN governor) alone can be Executive Director or Managing Director.”
He noted that the new Act removed the representatives from the six geopolitical zones, and made the Permanent Secretary the Chairman of the NDIC board.
He further said that the new Act killed the career progression of NDIC staff.
AbdulLateef also said, “Godwin Emefiele is the one who made it impossible for Nigerians to collect their money from banks that closed up many years ago. Emefiele and the cabals tied the hands of Nigerians by introducing new acts into the sections of the NDIC laws.”
He added, “The NDIC is supposed to be an independent corporation but with the new 35 sections they introduced, they fixed NDIC into the pocket of the Central Bank of Nigeria. No wonder there are thousands of petitions on my table.
On the issue of failed microfinance banks, he said, “I can tell you today that many of the microfinance banks they said have failed is a fraud. Many of those banks are still viable. Until Tinubu dissolves the board, nobody can ask me not to act. I will help in ridding the institution of corruption by supporting the renewed hope mantra of the new president.”
The NDIC chairman further urged the President, Bola Tinubu, not to act on the new NDIC Act.
Following the development, anti-corruption agencies have called for a probe of the NDIC.
The Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran, on Monday, called on the Federal Government to probe the corruption in the NDIC.
He admitted that every government agency has some elements of corruption, saying, “There is no agency in Nigeria that is not ridden with one form of corruption or the other.”
He further asked the Federal Government to investigate the allegations made by the NDIC chairman and ensure due diligence was done to tackle the issue appropriately.
Adeniran said, “That agency must be probed. The allegations levelled by the author of that footage should be thoroughly investigated. While the veracity of the allegations is established, we expect that the administration will not want to go in the same way of parody and anomie that the previous administration had gone in the way they handled manifest corruption allegations.
“I believe the administration will go a step further in ensuring that due diligence is done at the level of investigation and diligent prosecution that will lead to conviction, which will attract maximum punishment.”
Also, the Centre for Responsible Governance, called for the probe of the NDIC, saying the allegations raised by the chairman were weighty and compelling.
The Executive Secretary, CFRG, Bolaji Adekunle, said, “The allegations and issues raised by the NDIC chairman in the post are very weighty and heavy. There is a need for the responsible authorities to launch a probe into the activities of the NDIC. Specifically, there is also a need to examine the new Act properly.”