THE Nigerian government will soon start seizing money in accounts without bank verification number, BVN. This followed the approval of the request of Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the Federation, for a temporary forfeiture of all funds held in bank accounts not linked to BVNs by the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court and whose ownership could not be absolutely identified.
Also to be seized by the federal government are funds held in bank accounts without sufficient know-your-customer credentials.
But some bankers, who spoke to our correspondent on conditions of anonymity expressed strong reservations about a lack of specific legal framework for the unprecedented forfeitures and potential coercion of banks by the federal government.
No estimates were immediately available at press time, but it is widely held that billions of naira remained trapped in the unlinked bank accounts since 2015 when the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, ordered commercial banks to stop attending to new enrollees.
The order followed an originating motion of notice filed by the AGF on behalf of the Nigerian government on September 28.
Nnamdi Dimgba, Federal High Court judge, who presided over the ex-parte motion, granted all the nine reliefs sought by Malami —himself represented by a lawyer, Usman Dakas— on October 17.
The court ordered all the 19 deposit money banks, DMBs, operating in the country to release to the federal government the names of the accounts not yet connected to BVN; account numbers; their outstanding balances; domiciling locations; and domiciliary accounts without BVN and where they are domiciled.
Nigeria deposit money banks that were listed as respondents in the ex-parte suit are: Access Bank, Citi Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank and First City Monument Bank.
Others are: Guarantee Trust Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank and United Bank for Africa. – Newsrangers
– Oct 23, 2017 @ 1: 42 GMT |