A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered seven banks to remit to
the Federal Government $793,200,000 (about N249,659,700,000.00)
allegedly hidden with them in breach of the Treasury Single Account
A vacation judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor, made the interim order
following an ex parte application by the office of the Attorney-General
of the Federation (AGF).
The judge warned that the remittance order would be made permanent on August 8, unless cause was shown why it should not.
The AGF, through his counsel, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), accused
the commercial banks of illegally keeping the sums in their custody for
“unknown government officials”.
Justice Obiozor ordered the banks to remit the money to the designated
Federal Government’s Asset Recovery dollars account domiciled with the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The banks are United Bank for Africa (UBA), Diamond Bank Plc, Skye Bank
Plc, First Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Limited and
Sterling Bank Plc.
According to court processes filed by Akinseye-George (SAN), $367.4m was
hidden by three government agencies in UBA; $41m was kept in a National
Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) fixed deposit account
with Skye Bank.
The documents stated that $277.9m was in Diamond Bank, $18.9m in First
Bank, $24.5m in Fidelity Bank, $17m in Keystone Bank, and $46.5m in
The AGF’s application was supported by a 15-paragraph affidavit deposed
to by a lawyer from Akinseye-George’s law firm, Vincent Adodo.
Adodo averred that the banks colluded with Federal Government officials to hide the funds in breach of the TSA policy.
The judge adjourned till August 8 “for anyone interested in the funds to
appear” before him “to show cause why the interim orders should not be