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Rivers Gov. Wike wades into suspended Unity Bank MD’s case

Mr. Semenitari
Mr. Semenitari
imageAs a matter of fac, these are not the best of times in the household of the Semenitaris. While the wife, a former commissioner for information in Rivers state is having a running battle with the new governor, the husband banker, Henry Semenitari has just been summarily suspended by the Unity Bank as it’s managing director. News of the People exclusively gathered that the technical suspension was subtly described as compulsory leave which is obviously the beginning of the exit of the banker from Unity Bank. Sources told this magazine that the board of directors has resolved that he should proceed on compulsory leave after members of staff of the bank revolted with damaging allegations and evidences. The entire scenario according to an insider is centered around alleged fraud and unethical practices.
The managing director’s dilemma began few months back when some staff sent a strong petition to an influential major shareholder in the bank who is also a former Nigeria leader who instructed the chairman of the bank Thomas Etuh to appoint a forensic auditor to investigate the allegations. It was alleged that all the allegations were later found to be true, according to the report of the auditors.
At the beginning of the forensic investigations, Henry was advised to proceed on leave but he refused until when the investigation was concluded when he then volunteered to go on leave. At this stage the chairman allegedly told him it was too late hence the board directed he proceeds on suspension described in his letter as compulsory leave.
News of the People gathered that one of the major allegations was squandering of almost N100 million on bullet proof vehicle for his use. Another reckless spending cited in the petition is payment of productivity bonus allowances to some select staff and indiscriminate sack of staff without recourse to the board of directors. Sensing a looming crisis, a source informed that it was the recklessness of the banker that made the former chairman of the bank to resign with a decoy that he was pursuing a political career which he lost in his home stead of Katsina. At the moment, it was gathered that the Rivrs state government has stepped into the matter and presently pressing the management to punish the erring staff involved in the allegations with adequate punishment. this is because the state government is one of the highest stakeholder with very hiogh shares in the bank. In a similar development, it would be recalled that that the embattled Managing director is very close to the former Rivers governor, Rotimi Ameachi.
CBN governor, Emefiele
CBN governor, Emefiele
Mr.Semenitari has been the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Unity Bank Plc since January 2014. Mr. Semenitari served as an Executive Director of Public Sector & Government at First City Monument Bank Plc (now, FCMB Group Plc) until January 03, 2011. He has valued and consistent Banking experience in Operations, Internal Control, Commercial and Retail Banking, Consumer Banking, Corporate Banking (Energy) etc. acquired from various Banks over a 22-year career at First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa, ACB International Bank and Continental Trust Bank. He was Executive Director Retail and Enterprise Banking at First City Monument Bank Plc with responsibility for developing and growing Retail and Enterprise Banking business across the entire branch network. He served as senior Management positions in UBA Plc as an Assistant General Manager – Commercial and Retail Banking Group; General Manager (Credit and Marketing) in ACB International Bank Plc; Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ACB International Bank Plc; Executive Director (Business Development) in Continental Bank Limited and General Manager Afribank Nigeria Plc, in charge of Consumer and Retail Banking with the responsibility of supervising and developing business activities across the entire 150 branch network. Mr. Semenitari served as Executive Director of Commercial Banking Division of First City Monument Bank Plc until January 03, 2011. Mr. Semenitari has over 19 years banking experience in various areas including commercial & retail banking, corporate banking, operations and internal control. At various times, he has worked for established banks such as Zenith Bank plc from 1991 to 1992, Diamond Bank from 1992 to 1996, United Bank for Africa plc from 1996 to 2001 and Afribank plc from 2003 to 2005. Mr. Semenitari joined FCMB from Afribank in 2005, where he was responsible for developing the retail banking business across a network of over 150 branches. He serves as Chairman of the Board of UnityKapital Assurance Plc. His recognized strengths are in business process re-engineering, enterprise management and integration of business processes with technology at product and responsibility accounting levels. He served as an Executive Director of First City Monument Bank Plc until January 03, 2011. He has been a Director at Unity Bank Plc since July 2012. He also serves as Director of SWAP Technologies and Telecomms Plc. He serves as a Director of UnityKapital Assurance Plc. His recognized strengths are in Business Process Re-engineering and Design with specialization in Strategic Process Enterprise Management and Integration of Business process models with Information Technology, to drive business at Product and Strategic business unit levels. He has development and implementation experience of major Banking Applications such as Micro Banker/Flexcube, Phoenix, Bank Master, SAP (Systems Application and Product), Globus and Finacle Banking Application etc. He is an alumnus of both the Harvard and the Cambridge Judge Business Schools. Mr. Semenitari holds a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Lagos in 1987 and an MBA from University of Navarra (I.E.S.E.), Barcelona, Spain in 2000.

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