31/12/2010 16:01


Four directors of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, including the Chairman, Dr. Oba Otudeko, voluntarily retired from the board of the bank on Wednesday.

The sudden retirement of Otudeko, who took over from Dr. Umaru Mutallab, barely a year ago, as well as that of the other members of the board, was announced by the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, in an internal memo to employees of First Bank on Wednesday.

Consequently, the bank announced the appointment of Prince Ajibola Afonja to replace Otudeko as the new chairman.

The three non-executive directors, who also quit the board effective December 31, 2010, are Alhaji Abdullahi Mahmood, General Garba Duba (retd.) and Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale.

When contacted, Otudeko told correspondent that he and the other directors were not removed, but that they left voluntarily after a board meeting held on Wednesday, where it was decided that they should step down in line with the requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He said, ”We were not removed, we decided to retire voluntarily in line with the directive of the CBN. I have spent 12 years on the board of the bank. Details of what transpired at the board meeting will be made available shortly. We are moving to the board of a holding company owned by the bank and the board has appointed people to replace us.”

A source in the bank told correspondent that those who replaced the ex-board members were either their children or close relations.

For instance, Otudeko‘s son, Obafemi Adedamola replaced him on the board, while Tunde Hassan-Odukale replaced his brother, Oye. Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola-Alao‘s daughter, Khadijah Alao-Straub, has also been appointed as a non-executive director of the bank.

Meanwhile, the meeting also accepted Dr. Yerima Ngama‘s resignation from the board with effect from December 31, 2010 in order to pursue newer challenges. Mr. Bello Mohammed Maccido was appointed as an executive director to replace him.




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