Court drops Nigeria bank CEO's corruption charges

AP News
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Posted: Apr 02, 2012 1:18 PM
Court drops Nigeria bank CEO's corruption charges

A federal high court judge in Nigeria has thrown out charges against a former bank CEO accused in a massive mismanagement scheme that nearly brought down the country's financial sector.

The judge's ruling Monday in Lagos freed Erastus Akingbola, formerly the CEO of Intercontinental Bank PLC. Akingbola's lawyer Felix O. Fagbohungbe told The Associated Press the ruling also severely criticized the country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The decision is a major blow against the agency, charged with cutting back on the endemic graft in government in Africa's most populous nation. An agency spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

The 2009 financial crisis affected nine of Nigeria's 24 banks. Nigeria is also considered West Africa's banking epicenter.