Fidelity bank and Sterling bank, 2 of the 7 banks facing charges over $793 million unremitted TSA funds have issued statements concerning the matter. Reports released yesterday reveals that 7 banks were currently facing charges before a Federal High Court for allegedly withholding Treasury Single Account (TSA) funds. The banks mentioned in the reports were Fidelity bank, Sterling Bank, Diamond Bank, Keystone Bank, UBA, First Bank and Skye Bank.
Fidelity bank in a statement by its head of corporate affairs Charles Aigbe said the bank had no role in the affair. The allegations according to him, were coming as a surprise to the bank Sterling Bank through its Chief Marketing Officer, Brands and Communications Group, Henry Bassey , said it was not in possession of any TSA funds belonging to NAPIMS or the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC). The bank was also reaching out to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (OAGF) demanding a retraction of the claim.
The response by the two banks is rather belated as they would have had ample opportunity to do when court summons were sent to their respective offices. Before filing the case, the OAGF and the police would have carried out investigations involving officials of the bank, and perhaps even sourced account details from the banks in question. Why wait, till when news had broken to the press before issuing a rebuttal? Since one of the banks is denying existence of such funds, then who owns the funds?
The MDs of both banks Nnamdi Okonkwo and Yemi Adeola were picked up by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after raiding the banks in May 2016 last over monies deposited into the banks by the then Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison –Madueke.