The Federal Government has ordered the withdrawal of law suit instituted against seven commercial banks suspected to have circumvented the Treasury Single Account policy. The suit was filed at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos. The accused banks include Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), First Bank, Skye Bank, Fidelity Bank, Sterling Bank and the defunct Keystone Bank (now Heritage Bank).
At the resumed preceding today, the Counsel representing the Federal Government, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN) stated that he had been instructed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to discontinue the case in the overall interest of the public. According to him
“It is not out of weakness that the Federal Government is withdrawing this case; the banks are corporate citizens and we are interested in the well-being of everybody.”
Recall that the Federal Government had accused the banks of conniving with compromised government officials in some Agencies to illegally conceal $793.2m meant to have been transfered to the TSA domiciled in the CBN. The government said the money was hidden in some accounts domiciled in these banks, stressing that the banks connived with the agencies to withhold the money.
The $793.2 million was alleged to be revenues, donations, transfers, refunds, grants, dues, and tariff reportedly accruable to the government from the different agencies.
Meanwhile, the Counsels representing the banks denied the allegations. They urged the Judge not to merely strike out the case but to dismiss it and award N20 million costs against the government for unjustly denting their images. They observed that any suit struck out could be re-filed while a suit dismissed cannot be re-filed.
The matter was adjourned to August 9 for ruling.