The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to close a six-year long enquiry against a former director of the Bank of Punjab, Gohar Ejaz, for allegedly misusing his position to obtain a loan from the bank as the Bureau could not find any incriminating evidence against him and found his businesses and companies to be in compliance with banking regulations.
NAB discovered, after a six-year enquiry, that the law barring the actions that Ejaz was being accused of was not in place at the time the actions took place.
The decision to drop the allegation against the renowned businessman was made at an Executive Board meeting of the bureau.
The enquiry was launched in 2010 after media reports and complaints surfaced suggesting that former director of the bank had used his position to take loans from the bank for his two textile mills – Ejaz Spinning Mills and Ejaz Textile Mills – against the rules.
The NAB Executive Board, which met under its Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry in Islamabad, has also dropped cases against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar due to lack of evidence. Similarly, cases against Gohar Ejaz who is ex-chairman and current leader of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), who acted as a nominee director on the BoP Board between 2003 and 2008 have been dropped.
The enquiry had proven that the State Bank Rules and Bank of Punjab Ordinance did not bar companies of a director of the Bank of Punjab from doing businesses with the Bank at that time. The Punjab Assembly amended the rule In Bank of Punjab Ordinance in October 2009, one and a half years after he completed his term on the board.
The enquiry also clarified that all his company loans were taken as per law and were paid back as per agreement.
“The NAB’s decision to drop frivolous allegations against Gohar Ejaz, a respected and credible businessman and top business leader has vindicated his stance that a false case was instituted against him with mala fide intentions,” a spokesman for the APTMA said on Sunday. He said the exoneration of the top business leader in the false case will help build investor confidence in the economy.
He also commended the services rendered by NAB Chairman QamarZamanChaudhry in ensuring fair enquiry and timely decision of the cases.