The Central Bank of Nigeria is proceeding secretly but firmly to sell Polaris Bank Ltd to an obscure businessman for roughly N40 billion, according to multiple sources familiar with the ongoing talks. The transaction, if it goes through, would amount to a paltry three percent of up to N1.2 trillion taxpayers’ funds poured into the lending house since its 2018 nationalization.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele has already received presidential approval to advance the sale, with public disclosure due any time soon unless backdoor objections grow stronger, Peoples Gazette understands.
At issue over the deal were questions of whether or not the bank should be sold to Auwal Lawan Abdullahi, a son-in-law to Ibrahim Babangida who holds the Sarkin Sudan Gombe traditional title from the northeastern state, despite his limited credentials in banking and finance.
Abdullahi was described as a commercial farmer in Gombe, but his public profile appeared scanty away from his flamboyant 2017 marriage to Halimat, the second daughter and last child of Mr. Babangida, who headed a dreadful military junta that ruled Nigeria from 1985 to 1993.
Emefiele and others convinced the president to approve the sale and they’re now moving to crush anyone standing in the way,” a source briefed on the matter said. “They don’t seem to care that they could do more than sell the bank for more than the roughly N40 billion offer they currently have from their secret talks.