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Again, Skye Bank Indicted For Concealing TSA Funds




In the wake of a new management at Skye Bank Plc, many would have expected positive news from the bank.

However, it is the same news that trailed it when Tunde Ayeni was the Chairman of the financial institution that has remained.

Days back, the banking sectors was shocked to hear that Skye Bank Plc, and others financial institutions had been accused of not remitting TSA funds running into $ 793, 200, 000.

A Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered seven commercial banks to temporarily remit a total of $793, 200, 000 allegedly hidden with them in contravention of the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account policy.

Justice Chuka Obiozor ordered the banks to remit the various amounts being allegedly kept illegally in their custody to the designated Federal Government’s Asset Recovery dollars account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to court papers filed by counsel for the Attorney General of the Federation, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), a total of $367.4m was illegally hidden by three government agencies in UBA, while a sum of $41m was illegally kept in a NAPIMS fixed deposit account with Skye Bank.

The court papers stated that $277.9m was hidden in Diamond Bank; $18.9m in First Bank; $24.5m in Fidelity Bank; $17m in Keystone Bank; and $46.5m in Sterling Bank.

A lawyer from Akinseye-George’s law firm, Vincent Adodo, who deposed to a 15-paragraph affidavit in support of an ex parte application filed by the AGF, stated that seven banks colluded with Federal Government officials to hide the funds in breach of the government’s TSA policy.

The funds, he said, were revenues, donations, transfers, refunds, grants, taxes, fees, dues, tariffs etc accruable to the Federal Government from different ministries, departments, parastatals and agencies.

Adodo said the banks had failed to remit the funds to the TSA domiciled in the CBN in violation of the guidelines issued by the Accountant General of the Federation which fixed September 15, 2015, as the deadline for such funds to be moved.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Skye Bank Plc will be dragged into a TSA mess.

In 2015, the bank was fined 4 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for failing to render appropriate account of some government institutions and parastatas.


Reacting to Justice Obiozor’s order Skye Bank denied the allegations thrown its way. A statement signed by Head Strategic Brand Management and Communications, Nduneche Ezurike, read thus “Our attention has been drawn to media reports of a ruling of the Federal High Court in Lagos July 20, 2017, wherein seven commercial banks were ordered by Hon Justice Chuka Obiozor to remit a total of $793.200.000 allegedly hidden with them in contravention of the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account policy.

“According to the said reports, it was alleged that the sum of N41m is illegally kept in a NAPIMS fixed deposit account with Skye Bank in collusion with government officials. The management of Skye Bank hereby states that it neither colluded nor unilaterally hid the reported sum or any other funds in its custody.”
He added, “On the contrary, the said funds are held with the full knowledge of the relevant Agencies of the government including the Central Bank of Nigeria, the DSS, the National Assembly and the Inspector General of Polices’s Special Investigation Panel, with whom we have engaged extensively over same.”
The lender informed all its stakeholders that it was would not conduct itself in breach of the laws or policies of the government, including the TSA policy.
“The bank will take appropriate legal steps in response to the ruling of the Federal High Court on August 8, 2017, when the substantive hearing is expected to come up,” he added.






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