Excess charges: Fed Govt recovers N40m from bank

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, led by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, says it has recovered about N40m made up of interest shortfalls and excess charges deducted by a bank from the accounts of some federal agencies.

A statement by the panel’s Head, Media and Communication, Lucie-Ann Laha, on Tuesday did not, however, disclose the name of the bank.

This, the statement said, was “to prevent panic by its (bank’s) customers.”

It said the money was recovered following an investigation into Federal Government agencies’ accounts maintained with commercial banks from 2009 to 2015, adding that its investigative team’s original findings indicated that the unnamed bank was to refund the sum of N230m.

It said the bank raised an objection which prompted “a joint reconciliation meeting” where it was agreed that the amount due to be refunded was N40, 336.186.25.

The statement read in part, “The investigation panel has earlier assigned a team of forensic auditors with the task of X-raying the operations of Federal Government’s accounts domiciled in commercial banks within that period, with a view to establishing whether or not such accounts had been subjected to arbitrary or excessive charges, interest shortfalls, accrued interests or other illegal dealings.

“Arising from its findings, the panel, in a letter dated 19th January, 2019, issued a demand notice to the bank for the sum of N230, 144,784.34k, comprising N180, 932,793.39k and $161, 350, 79, to which the bank objected.

“Following the objection, therefore, the panel and the bank held a joint reconciliation meeting and agreed that the amount actually due for refund was N40,336.186.25k.”

The statement added that the recovered money “has since been paid into the panel’s TSA Recovery Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

“The reconciliation team also agreed that the sum of $56,919.10 should equally return to the coffers of the Federal Government.

“This recovery is different from the $20m earlier reported by the panel.”

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