By Innocent Anaba
The Federal Government, yesterday, applied to withdraw the case it instituted before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, against seven commercial banks in the country, which it accused of violating the government’s Treasury Single Account, TSA, policy.
The Federal Government had alleged that the banks connived with some government agencies to illegally hide in their coffers, a total of $793.2million, which was ought to have been remitted to the TSA account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The affected banks were United Bank for Africa, Diamond Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, First Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Limited and Sterling Bank Plc.
Trial judge, Justice 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.
The court had adjourned 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, yesterday, counsel to the Federal Government, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George, SAN, said he had been instructed by the Attorney General of the Federation to discontinue the case in the overall interest of the public.
But the banks, which claimed that the Federation Government’s allegation against them was false as they had already been unjustly disparaged, urged the judge not to merely strike out the suit but to dismiss it and award N20million cost against the Federal Government.