DAILY POST had reported that Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday ordered some banks to remit $793,200,000 to the Nigerian government.
They are United Bank for Africa; Diamond Bank Plc; Skye Bank Plc; First Bank Nigeria Limited; Fidelity Bank Plc; Keystone Bank Limited; and Sterling Bank Plc.
Reacting, the management of Keystone Bank explained its position on the issue.
Keystone Bank noted: “In response to the news making the rounds that the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had made an order directing Keystone Bank Limited to remit the sum of $17m allegedly illegally kept in its custody to the TSA, we wish to state that Keystone Bank has never illegally hidden any amount of money belonging to the Federal Government or any of its agencies.
“Details of all Federal Government funds in custody of Keystone Bank had always been fully disclosed to all relevant Federal Government agencies and at no time did Keystone Bank collude or conspire with any official of the Federal Government to disobey the Federal Government directives on the TSA”.
The lender informed its stakeholders that it would not conduct itself in breach of the laws or policies of the government, including the TSA policy.
“We are taking appropriate steps to respond to the issues raised in the Court Order”, the bank added.
Similarly, Fidelity Bank Plc has denied any wrongdoing.
Charles Aigbe, Divisional Head, Brand and Communications at the bank, said since the commencement of the TSA policy, all TSA related accounts held by the bank were fully disclosed to the authorities.
“We do not have any TSA related account with a balance of $24.5m in Fidelity Bank which has not been remitted to the authorities,” Aigbe said in a statement.
“This matter is coming to us as a surprise. We are therefore reaching out to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to ascertain which account or parastatal they are referring to with a view to carrying out a detailed reconciliation.”
Bola Atta, UBA Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, in a statement insisted that the bank was not owing.
It reads “Our attention has been drawn to the order of the Federal High Court in Lagos directing that seven (7) commercial banks, including UBA Plc, temporarily remit a total of $793,200,000 allegedly hidden in contravention of the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account policy pending the determination of the suit filed by the Attorney General of the Federation on behalf of the Federal Government.
“We wish to state categorically that UBA has fully remitted all NNPC/NLNG dollar deposits since August 24, 2016. We hereby emphasise that none of such funds are currently in the Bank’s books. Our action was further corroborated by a clearance memo published by CBN on its website on same date (http://www.cbn.gov.ng/Out/2016/CCD/UBAPress%20Statement240816.pdf).”