FG withdraws case against banks accused of violating TSA policy
The Federal Government yesterday withdrew the case it filed against seven commercial banks at the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The banks were accused of violating the government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy by conniving with some government agencies to hide $793,200,000, which was supposed to be transmitted to the TSA account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Vacation judge, Chuka Obiozor had on July 20, 2017 granted an interim order in favour of the Federal Government, directing the seven banks to temporarily remit the funds to the TSA.
He, however, adjourned the matter till yesterday for the banks to appear before him to show cause why the interim order should not be made permanent.
But at the resumed proceedings, counsel to the Federal Government, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), said the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, had instructed him to discontinue with the case in the interest of the public.
He said: “It is not out of weakness that the Federal Government is withdrawing this case. The banks are corporate citizens and we are interested in everyone’s well-being.”
Akinseye-George, therefore, urged Justice Obiozor to strike out the suit.
But the banks, which claimed that government’s allegation against them was false and that they had been unjustly disparaged, urged the judge not to merely strike out the suit but to dismiss it and award N20 million cost against the Federal Government.
They argued that any case merely struck out could be re-filed while a case that is dismissed could no longer be re-filed.
After taking arguments from the parties, Obiozor adjourned till today for ruling on whether the case would be struck out or dismissed.
The Federal Government had in the suit alleged that $367.4 million was hidden by three government agencies.