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Experts hit anti-graft agencies as SPIP exposes Unity Bank’s TSA breaches

Barely hours after the Special Presidential Investigation Panel For The Recovery Of Public Property (SPIP) came up with revelations on breaches and trapping of government funds meant for Treasury Single Account (TSA) in Unity Bank, financial analysts have started raising questions on why it took only the investigation panel in a country with numerous award winning anti-graft agencies to track and expose the bank’s infractions.
According to experts to barred their minds on the development, agreed that time has come to review the tenure of all the corruption fighting agencies following their inabilities’ to discover the crime ahead of a mere presidential panel that has little or no prosecuting powers.
However, in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja by the Head, Media and Communications of the SPIP, the panel said it is considering slamming 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.
SPIP said “This sum represents Fifteen Million, Five Hundred and Sixty One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine Dollars, Ninety Nine Cents ($15,561,769.99) and One Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty Eight Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ten Naira, Ninety Kobo (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.
It may be recalled the 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.