More drama as First Bank chairman exits, replacement named

CHAIRMAN of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), Mr Tunde Hassan-Odukale, is exiting the financial institution after the completion of his tenure.

According to the bank’s filing at the Nigerian Exchange Limited seen by Economy Post on Thursday night, Hassan-Odukale has completed his cumulative 12 years for a non-executive director in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Corporate Governance Guidelines.

Hassan-Odukale joined the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited as a non-executive director in 2011. He is managing director of Leadway Assurance Company Limited. His executive management experience spans over 22 years across asset management, finance, IT and life insurance operations, FBN said while spotlighting his profile. 

READ ALSO: First Bank cancels N300bn capital raise meeting, fails to release financial statement amid controversial leadership change

New sheriff in town

Hassan-Odukale will be replaced by Mr Ebenezer Olufowose a non-executive director, who is the group managing director of First Ally Capital Limited, a Lagos-based investment banking firm.

“Ebenezer brings his skills from Corporate Finance, Project Finance, and Investment Banking to the Board. Before joining the FirstBank Board, he was Executive Director at Access Bank and Citibank Nigeria, where he led Citigroup’s origination, structuring and execution of corporate finance and investment banking transactions in Nigeria,” FBN said in a statement signed by Acting Company Secretary, Mr Adewale Arogundade.

Understanding First Bank issues

Economy Post recently reported that things were not going so well for FBN as the financial institution recently cancelled an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) earlier scheduled for the consideration of a N300 billion capital raise.

Similarly, the bank’s former Managing Director, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, stepped down amid speculations that he was forced to leave the financial institution. A new helsman, Mr Olusegun Alebiosu, has taken over from Dr Adeduntan.

READ ALSO: Fidelity Bank sees 3,079 fraud incidents, faces 65 cases in court

A big sign that things are not right with First Bank is that it is the only financial institution among the elite FUGAZ that is yet to release its full-year 2023 financial statement. FUGAZ is an acronym for First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Access Bank and Zenith Bank.

Cancellation of EGM

First Bank cancelled its EGM scheduled to take place on April 23, 2024, to deliberate on the possible capital raising of N300 billion to shore up its assets.

Banks are hurrying to raise capital to fulfill the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s new requirements. The CBN had, on March 29, announced new minimum capital requirements of N500 billion for international banks and N200 billion for commercial banks with national authorization.

Regional and merchant banks are to raise their capital to N50 billion, while non-interest banks are to raise N20 billion (for national institutions) and N10 billion (for regional institutions).

However, First Bank is yet to unveil any programme or plan for the capital raise and aborted a plan through the April 19 letter.

Financial statements still not released

The bank is also yet to release its financial statement. It is the only bank in FUGAZ class that is yet to release its annual report for 2023 financial year. Some shareholders say they are worried that First Bank has not yet released any information in this regard, which is getting investors worried.

READ ALSO: Flashback: How Union Bank ex-director and gang sold fake airport to Brazilian for $242m

A shareholder of First Bank, who pleaded anonymity, said: “I am worried that we are not being told anything regarding the annual report. With the sudden change of leadership in the bank, I am no more comfortable as I am sure something is happening behind the scene.”

Another shareholder, who simply identified himself as Sunday, said he hoped the bank would release its financials and dividend to boost the confidence of investors.

“I just hope this is not a case of poor corporate governance. The bank needs to release its financial statement as fast as it can to show the world that no fraud or any illegal thing has taken place,” he noted.


Though First Bank chairman’s tenure has ended, there are suspicions that there is more to it, especially given the events currently taking place at the bank.

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