Exclusive Report: The Former Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan, Faces Arrest and Detention

On 19 October 2023, the presidency announced the appointment of Olasupo Olusi as the new managing director and chief executive officer of the Bank of Industry (BOI). This came after the voluntary resignation of his predecessor, Olukayode Pitan, which was announced by presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale. Pitan’s sudden departure surprised many clients and players in the financial sector, especially since he had just begun his second term of five years on 27 May 2022. Some speculated that President Bola Tinubu may have requested Pitan’s resignation in order to appoint his own candidate.

However, it has now been revealed that Pitan’s resignation was triggered by events that unfolded quickly and unexpectedly. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) received intelligence alleging mismanagement of public funds by the leadership of BOI, which was led by Pitan at the time. After discreet investigations, Pitan was arrested on 16 October 2023 in Lagos and flown to Abuja for interrogation and detention.

On 18 October, Pitan was granted administrative bail and on 19 October, the presidency announced his resignation and the appointment of Olusi as his replacement. It was not disclosed that Pitan’s resignation was due to ongoing investigations by the EFCC into certain transactions during his tenure. The press statement announcing his resignation did not accuse him of any wrongdoing.

More than three months have passed since Pitan’s release on bail, but no charges have been brought against him and the EFCC has been reluctant to disclose details of the financial matters under investigation. When contacted for comment, the head of media and publicity at the EFCC promised to provide an update but has yet to do so. It is believed that Pitan’s resignation was either voluntary or compelled due to the ongoing investigations.  

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