The Identity of the new owner of the Polaris Bank emerged yesterday as more details about the N50 billion transaction were uncovered.
The new owner, Auwal Lawal, is the in-law to the former Nigerian military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd). He is married to Halima, the second daughter and last child of the former Nigerian military head of state.
Lawal is a Nigerian businessman, entrepreneur and a philanthropist. He holds the traditional chieftain title of “Sarkin Sudan of Gombe.
He is also the Chairman and CEO of Nice Corporate Services Limited registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigeria since 2004. A company that deals in real estate development, commodities trading, and supply of agricultural machinery and fertilizer.
Meanwhile, Adekunle Sonola, was yesterday appointed the new Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank.
Sonola replaces Innocent C. Ike, who was appointed Acting Managing Director/CEO of the bank in August 2020.
The bank has equally reconstituted its board and appointed a new management team led by its Chairman, Muhammad Ahmad.
The new board and management appointments followed the completion of a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the acquisition of 100 percent of the equity in Polaris Bank by Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL) on Thursday.
The members of the new board are MK Ahmad (Chairman), Abubakar Danlami Suleiman (Non-Executive Director), Salma Mohammed (Non-Executive Director), Adeleke Alex Adedipe (Non-Executive Director), Ahmed Almustapha (Non-Executive Director). Others are Francesco Cuzzocrea (Non-Executive Director), Olabisi Olubunmi Odunowo (Non-Executive Director), AdekunIe Sonola (Executive – M D/CEO), Abdullahi S Mohammed (Executive Director) and Segun Opeke (Executive Director).
Sonola is a former executive director at Union Bank Plc. He has more than 33 years of experience in the African financial services sector, most recently as Executive Director of Commercial Banking at Union Bank Plc, prior to which he was the pioneer Regional Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank East Africa and the Director of Investment Banking at Standard Bank in South Africa.
He has also served on the boards of First Bank of Nigeria Plc where he chaired the Board’s Risk Management Committee and Airtel Nigeria Plc.
In a statement on its website, the bank said the new management will develop an innovative, but sustainable growth strategy that prioritizes the needs and aspirations of its current customers.