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N7 Billion: Presidential Panel to charge Unity Bank for ‘Economic Sabotage’

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel For The Recovery Of Public Property (SPIP) may slam a charge of economic sabotage on Unity Bank if the bank persists in refusing to return the over seven billion Naira it owes Federal Government, to the Federation Account.

Lucie-Ann Laha, Head, Media & Communication made this known in a statement on Monday.

Laha explained that the sum represents $15,561,769.99 and N1,488,455,810.90, being excess and arbitrary charges on accounts of some agencies of government by the bank before the institution of TSA.

The agencies in question include Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), Kaduna Refinery and NIMASA.

Unity Bank which had agreed to this amount in February of this year, has neither proffered a payment plan nor demonstrated good faith by actually initiating payments.

“Instead, the bank has severed all communications with the Panel in this regard.”

The spokesperson recalled that SPIP, had commissioned a team of experts including forensic auditors to look into the operations of accounts of MDAs in commercial banks within the country prior to the commencement of TSA.

“This exercise had unearthed some sharp practices and elicited indictments. Some of the indicted banks have since agreed to a refund plan and in fact commenced payments. Unity Bank has however not made any move in this regard,” Laha said.

She said the SPIP is unrelenting in its resolve towards ensuring that economic saboteurs are brought to book and looted public property, including money, duly returned to government.


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