Sequel, to the Federal High Court order of 7 banks to remit $793.2 million (approximately N249.9 billion), Skye Bank affirms being in custody of $41 million (about N12. 9billion) of the total sum.
Management of Skye Bank has today, Friday, confirmed being in possession of about $41 millionwhich belongs to the Nigerian Investments Management Services, NAPIMS, allegedly concealing it from the Treasury Single Account, TSA account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The concealment of the funds which is a part of the $793.2 million allegedly hidden in seven commercial banks, is in contravention of the directive made by the Accountant General of the Federation that all such funds be moved to the TSA account domiciled with the CBN, effective September 15, 2015.
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The funds allegedly hidden by the seven banks comprise donations, revenues, refunds, grants, transfers, taxes, fees, dues, tariffs, etc got from different government ministries, departments, parastatals and agencies.
The banks affected by the court order are Skye Bank, Fidelity Bank Plc; Diamond Bank Plc; Keystone Bank Limited; United Bank for Africa, UBA; First Bank Limited; and Sterling Bank Plc.
A Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Chuka Obiozor, had on Thursday pronounced that the banks to remit the various amounts sum into the TSA account at the CBN.
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Justice Obiozor had in the case brought by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation ordered the seven banks to promptly transfer the various amounts allegedly concealed with them to the designated Federal Government’s Asset Recovery dollars account with the CBN.
Consequently, in a statement on Friday, Skye Bank, has attested to being in custody of the $41 million, but has however refute keeping same illegally or concealing the transaction.
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“The management of Skye Bank hereby states that it neither colluded nor unilaterally hid the reported sum or any other funds in its custody.” it’s spokesperson, Nduneche Ezurike, said in the statement.
“On the contrary, the said funds are held with the full knowledge of the relevant agencies of government, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the DSS, the National Assembly and the Inspector General of Police’s Special Investigation Panel, with whom we have engaged extensively over same,” he explained.
Naija News had however reported that Mr. Vincent Adodo, a lawyer with the Counsel, emphasised the banks failed to comply with Accountant General of the country’s Directive of remitting the funds to the TSA domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, hence violating the stipulated guidelines by the AGF, which fixed September 15, 2015 as the deadline for the transfer of such funds.
Mr. Ezurike has therefore said that Skye Bank would not conduct itself in breach of the laws or policies of the government, including the TSA policy.
He disclosed that the bank would carry out necessary legal processes to respond to the ruling of the Court come August 8 when the substantive hearing is scheduled.