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No, banking exec didn’t say his bank gave Nigeria’s president-elect Tinubu millions of new naira notes

IN SHORT: Guaranty Trust Bank asked Nigerians to ignore social media posts that falsely quoted their group CEO saying the bank had given millions of naira in new notes to president-elect Bola Tinubu.

Posts shared on Facebook and Twitter claim Segun Agbaje, a senior banking executive in Nigeria, said his bank had given N500 million in new naira notes to Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s president-elect, on orders of Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent president. 

Agbaje is the group chief executive officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, of which Guaranty Trust Bank is a subsidiary. The social media posts call him the “MD” of the bank. 

The quote attributed to him is: “We gave Bola Tinubu 500 million new naira notes on Friday, 24th February on the order of the president.” 

Nigerians have endured shortages of redesigned naira notes since late January 2023, right up until they went to the polls on 25 February

Tinubu contested the 25 February presidential election on the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and was declared winner of the election on 1 March.

We found the same quote on Facebook here, here and here.

But did Agbaje really admit to this very large donation? We checked.


‘Completely False’

In July 2021, Agbaje was replaced as the group managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank by Miriam Olusanya, following the bank’s transition into a holding company.

The bank denied giving this money to Tinubu and said that Agbaje wasn’t the bank’s current managing director, in a statement issued on 28 February.

The statement was posted on the bank’s verified Twitter and Instagram accounts, with a screenshot of the misleading social media post stamped “FAKE NEWS”. 

The statement reads, in part: “The Bank wishes to refute this claim in its entirety and state categorically that it is completely false and is designed to bring the image of the Bank and its officers to disrepute.”

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