20171022

CBN, Banks Get Order To Freeze All Accounts Without BVN

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks in the country to disclose all accounts in their custody and the balances in such accounts.

The court ordered the banks to disclose details of all such accounts, their owners and their proceeds in their affidavit of compliance deposed to by their Chief Compliance Officers.

It also made an interim order directing the banks to freeze all the said accounts by stopping “all outward payments, operations or transactions” pending the hearing of the substantive application seeking the forfeiture of all monies in the accounts to Federal Government.

The banks were also directed to disclose “any investments made with funds from these accounts without BVN in any products”.

Such investments to be disclosed by the banks as directed by the court include “fixed/term deposits and their liquidation and interest incurred, bank acceptances, commercial papers and any other relevant information related to the transaction made on the accounts”.

The court also directed the CBN and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems “to validate the information contained in the affidavit of compliance/disclosure filed by the respective 19 banks” within seven days from the date of service of the orders on them.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba had made the orders on October 17, 2017 upon an ex parte motion filed on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation.

It furthered ordered the banks to advertise the accounts without BVN in a widely circulated national newspaper as notice to those who might have any interest in any of the accounts.

The court also made an order appointing a Bank Examiner from CBN to examine the books of “any bank that fails to comply with the order of the honourable court to file affidavit of disclosure.”

Justice Dimgba adjourned until November 16 for the hearing of the substantive application seeking the forfeiture of monies in accounts without BVN.

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