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African Continental Bank (Inquiry)

Volume 565: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1957

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what action Her Majesty's Government propose to take on the report of the Tribunal appointed to inquire into the conduct of the Prime Minister of Eastern Nigeria in relation to the African Continental Bank.

My right hon. Friend informed the House on 6th February that he had asked the Governor to pursue with Dr. Azikiwe certain matters arising from the Tribunal's findings.The Governor has now sent my right hon. Friend a message from Dr. Azikiwe in which Dr. Azikiwe states his intention to surrender his shares in the African Continental Bank without compensation, and agrees to repay to the bank the director's fees of £5,252 which were paid to him after public money had been injected into the bank, on the understanding that this sum of £5,252 is a debt due to him which waits to be met out of the bank's current earnings.Further study is being given in Nigeria to the future of the bank and in particular to the possibility of all its capital being acquired by the Eastern Regional Government. On this, difficult questions both of law and policy remain to be settled.Steps are thus being taken towards clearing up the relationship between the Premier and this bank. For the rest, the facts have been brought to light by the Tribunal.