Justice Dimgba Reverses Ruling on BVN

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, of a Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, reversed his earlier ruling, which ordered that accounts not linked to Bank Verification Number (BVN) be forfeited to the Federal Government.
When the matter came up Thursday, Justice Nnamdi said the reversal became necessary because he later learnt that his October 17 order created an “awkward and unfortunate result.”
“Having listened to all counsel on record, and with the consent of all parties represented, I hereby revise Relief 4 of the court’s order of October 17, 2017 such that the new Relief 4 shall be: ‘An interim order of the honourable court stopping all outward payments, operations or outward transactions (including any bill of exchange) in respect of the accounts pending the linking of the accounts to a Bank Verification Number,” Dimgba said
“In view of the above-agreed compromise revision of Relief 4, I also hereby revoke and set aside Relief 5 of the court’s order of October 17, 2017, which provides for: “An interim order of forfeiture of the monies in the said accounts without BVN to the Claimants/Applicants being accounts with insufficient Know Your Customer guidelines contrary to Section 3 of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 and CBN guidelines the determination of the originating motion on notice,” the judge added.
The reversal means that those who have not linked their bank accounts will now be able to do so at their convenient time. But customers won’t be able to withdraw funds from unlinked accounts, but will be able to do so immediately they link their account.
This marks a departure from an earlier order that gave a 14-day period within which unlinked customers must link the account or forfeit all funds in their accounts.
Dimgba granted the controversial orders while ruling on an ex-parte motion filed by Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami.
Malami had argued under the Money Laundering Act 2011 that bank accounts not linked to BVNs were suspicious and sought absolute forfeiture of all funds trapped therein.
Dimgba authorised up to nine reliefs as sought by Malami through the ex-parte motion, drawing criticism from Nigerians who said the move was hasty and illegal.

Author: News Editor

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