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Heads Roll in Financial Services Industry: Skye Bank MD, GTBank MD Sacked

Heads Roll in Financial Services Industry: Skye Bank MD, GTBank MD Sacked

As the wind of financial regulation blows violently throughout the financial landscape in Sierra Leone, at least 2 Managing Directors have been sacked over serious allegations of impropriety.  Skye Bank MD, Olumide Olatunjie, long embroiled in controversies over conflict of interest, insider trading and corruption allegations was relieved of his position earlier this month.

Observers say he still resides in Sierra Leone in the meantime, probably due to the high level of bad debt he incurred for his bank, and which he might be taking steps to recover.  His replacement has, in the meantime taken up office in the one branch bank, from which customers are said to be hurriedly pulling out their funds due to the unstable nature of the bank and the vivid pointer of it being the only bank without a branch after three years of operation.

Bank of Sierra Leone sources describe the former MD as a smooth criminal.  The activities of the former MD are well reported, as he saw himself as a controller of the press and the judiciary, and often used extra ordinary means to achieve his objectives.  He was rumored to have been demanding between 15 and 30% kickback from customers who approached the bank for loans.   Many of those loans subsequently went bad, creating a big glut in the bank’s liquidity.

When we approached Olatunjie for a reaction to the events of the past four weeks, he declared that he was a child of God and was under ‘God’s protection.  The MOG MD worships in Sanctuary Praise Church, pastored by Ajisafe.  Attempts to reach Ajisafe for his reactions proved futile.

Along the same lines, GTBank MD, Ade Buraimoh has also been given the boot in a process popularly called reverse deployment.  Bank of Sierra Leone sources say he granted some bad loans amounting to millions of dollars and is currently in trouble because the debtor has apparently disappeared.  Attempts to confirm the information from sources within the GTBank proved futile, as bank staff say they were not informed about the reasons for Mr Buraimoh’s removal because he had apparently been perceived as doing a good job by his employees.

Mr Buraimoh was known to be one of the good boys of the Nigeria High Commissioner, Mr Echegile, who has been known in the past to use his influence as a former top banker, to save the jobs of errant bankers who have been involved with him in the past.  Try as he could, the High Commissioner did not manage to save Mr Olatunjie’s head from the hammer for long.

His replacement, Mr Ayoh Arise, has since taken office.  Mr Buraimoh is expected to leave the shores of Sierra Leone very soon.

Thompson Jallow, Freetown

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