22 May 2019

Nigeria: Unity Bank Refutes Allegation of Fraud By Presidential Panel

Unity Bank has faulted the allegation against it by Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property (SPIPRPP), over the ongoing reconciliation of the affected ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) accounts, saying the report is geared towards misinforming the public, and misrepresenting the Bank's position and will impact resolutions reached during the reconciliation engagements.

In the ongoing investigation, Unity Bank said in a statement yesterday that it has conducted itself professionally by providing all evidence of customers instructions requested by the panel as it relates to all the MDAs. "Unity Bank had earlier transferred all the MDAs balances to their respective TSA accounts in Central Bank of Nigeria as far back in 2016,"the statement said.

It continued: "Upon approaching the Bank in 2018 to conduct investigations on the subject MDAs, Unity Bank, as a responsible corporate citizen, cooperated with the panel accordingly. But out of its own volition, the panel refused to admit further documentary evidence from the Bank when it was obvious that the Bank has no balances kept in its books for the MDAs. Instead, the panel suspended the investigation as apparently it could not fault any of the evidence presented by the Bank.

The Panel in an earlier letter requested the Bank to accept culpability and pay off a certain sum deemed outstanding which the Bank objected and insisted on completing the reconciliation exercise because the claims presented at this point against the Bank were unfounded and frivolous

It is therefore surprising for the SPIPRPP to turn back and issue statement to allege sabotage when it abandoned its sitting and investigation midway

It insisted that it co-operated fully with SPIPRPP and its consultants in the investigation process and it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that Unity Bank has all records to show that it does its banking transactions transparently and in compliance with extant regulations.

This, it said is: "without prejudice to the constitutional power of Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC), as the sole agency of government to investigate, review, reconcile and collect revenue for government." It added that "at no time took charge on the MDAs that are outside what are contained in the Bankers Tariffs that guide banking operations in Nigeria."

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