- June 11 has been fixed by the Abuja Federal High Court, as the date it would deliver judgment on the status of funds in accounts without BVN
- The federal government wants such funds to be forfeited, and has accused the banks of failing to enforce the BVN policy
- According to the government, the banks cannot act for unknown persons, whose identities they have not disclosed
The Abuja Federal High Court has fixed Monday, June 11, to deliver judgment in the federal government’s suit seeking an order of forfeiture of funds in accounts that do not have Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), Punch reports.
The government accused commercial banks of shielding owners of accounts without BVN’s, at the suit hearing on Friday, April 29.
Legit.ng gathers that the government alleged that the opposition to the suit by commercial banks implied that they had failed to enforce the BVN policy. The rights of the banks to be heard in the case were also challenged by the federal government’s lawyer, Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN).
He stated: “Our contention is that the banks do not have the locus (legal right) to defend this action (suit). Our contention is that the plaintiff has a public duty to ensure that a regulation made pursuant to a law by the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria is obeyed.
“If the defendants say they did not know those who know the money in the accounts without BVN, how can they then come to defend the case? What locus do they have if they did not disclose the owners of the money, despite the order of the court to that effect? If they are to be heard, on whose behalf?
“They (the lawyers representing the respondents) are defending the suit on behalf of the bank; but the action and the order of the court is not against the banks per se, it is against the supposed owners of the funds.
“The court’s order was for them to verify the owners of the accounts. They have not done that and did not disclose any body as the owners of the accounts.
“So, we are arguing that they cannot act for unknown persons, whose identities they have not disclosed. If they do not know who their customers are, then they cannot defend the suit.”
Subsequently, he asked that all the processes filed by the defendants in the case be rejected by the court.
Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that a Federal High Court in Abuja reversed its earlier decision which granted an order for bank accounts not linked to bank verification numbers to be frozen.
The presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who gave the previous judgment said he later realised that his past judgment created an awkward and unfortunate result.
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