Keystone Bank sued for alleged non-remittance of $17 million to TSA

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An Abuja-based lawyer, Johnmary Jideobi, has sued Keystone Bank for alleged violation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.

The bank was accused of not remitting $17 million to the TSA.

The bank is among the seven banks the federal government alleged to have connived with CBNsome government agencies to illegally conceal $793.2 million meant to have been transferred to the TSA domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The government had, in the suit, alleged that $17 million out of the said amount was illegally hidden in Keystone Bank.

The fund in Keystone Bank and the six other banks were alleged to be revenues, donations, transfers, refunds, grants, taxes, fees, dues, tariffs etc accruable to the federal government from different ministries, departments, parastatal agencies.

But the Nigerian government, on August 9, 2017 withdrew the suit.

The application with the suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1269/17 has the bank (Keystone), the Attorney General of the federation and President of Federal Republic of Nigeria defendants.

According to the court processes by Mr Jideobi, which was released to PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday, the plaintiff (Mr Jideobi) said on June 13, the 1st defendant in this suit filed its counter-affidavit and a written address dated June 12 in opposition to the plaintiff’s originating summons filed on December 21, 2017.

Mr Jideobi in the papers informed that, in the counter-affidavit of nine (9) paragraphs, the 1st defendant offered mealy-mouthed, tenuous, weak and bare denials of the affidavit of facts that accompanied the plaintiff’s originating summons.

According to Mr Jideobi, the 2nd and 3rd defendants in this suit, despite being served with the plaintiff’s originating summons as far back as February 14 have not filed any counter-affidavit or written address in opposition to the claims which the Plaintiff has tabled before Tribunal of Justice.

Mr Jideobi therefore wants the court to declare that paragraph 4.21 of the guidelines on the implementation of the TSA/ e-collection prepared by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation dated September, 2015 is unconstitutional and therefore void in view of the combined provisions of Sections 80(1) and Section 162 (1) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He prayed for an order declaring void the purported approval of the president (3rd defendant) for the exemption of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd.’s account from the TSA and other approval(s) given to any other ministry, department and agency of the federal government of nigeria same being unconstitutional and ultra vires the powers of the president.

Mr Jideobi also prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining both the 2nd and 3rd defendants and every person or authority acting under their command or exercising the executive powers of the federation from further granting or purporting to grant a waiver to any person, ministry, department or agency of the federal government from complying with the peremptory dictates of treasury single account ordained by the provisions of sections 80(1) and section 162 (1) of the amended 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He also sought a mandatory order compelling the 1st defendant to promptly sweep into the treasury single account all the liquid of NPDC and particularly, the unremitted funds being about $17,000,000 and such other unremitted funds belonging to the federal government of Nigeria being unlawfully withheld from the federation account domiciled with the 1st defendant.

November 6 has been fixed for hearing of the case.

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