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N258 Million New Notes: Our Hands Are Clean, Sterling Bank Clarifies Alleged Abuja Cash Hoarding

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Sterling Bank has again debunked claims by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), accusing it of stashing N258 million in new naira notes at its Abuja Office.

A statement by the Bank’s Public Relations Manager, Ademola Adesina, said that a monitoring team from the ICPC visited the Bank’s regional office on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, and observed that the Bank’s ATMs were dispensing all denominations of new naira notes.

The Bank stated that its Chief Operating Officer, Raheem Owodeyi, told ICPC officials about the presence of the N258 million as the branch serves as a hub for cash distribution to other regional branches.

The statement listed branches serviced by the regional office, including Utako, Wuye, Seda Close, Kontagora, and the National Assembly offices.

According to the statement, the monitoring team visited other branches to confirm the Bank’s statement about the cash disbursement, and the ICPC team reviewed records at its Utako branch to find out about the Bank’s claims.

In the statement, Sterling Bank said it responded satisfactorily to ICBC’s questions during the inspection.

Sterling Bank said: “Approximately one hour later, officials of the ICPC, accompanied by the monitoring team, returned and invited two of the branch’s staff for further questioning at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja; the two bank representatives returned to their offices on the same day with no charges levelled against them.

“The regulatory monitoring team members were informed of the sums contained in the branch’s vault before the inspection. These sums were confirmed with a review of the records as presented by representatives of the Bank.”

Sterling Bank said the statement became necessary to provide an accurate report of the event and to counter what it calls a misleading narrative by the ICPC on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

The statement said that amid the current cash crisis, Sterling Bank has consistently dispensed new notes via ATMs, made over-the-counter payments, taking the pains of Nigerians to heart, as evidenced by videos on social media showing it giving out refreshments to Nigerians at their various branches, the statement said.

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