BVN: Court modifies forfeiture order

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba who issued a court order authorizing the interim forfeiture of funds in accounts with no BVN, has modified the order. This was done during yesterday’s hearing of the court case.

At the hearing, Justice Dimgba said having listened to all counsel on record, and with the consent of all parties represented, there was the need to revise the relief 4 of the court order given on October 17, 2017.

He said the new relief 4 shall be an interim order of the 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.

As part of the modification, banks will not require the permission of the court to unfreeze accounts of customers that have regularized their Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration. Other parts of the judgement however remain unchanged. Hearing of the case has been adjourned till the 11th of December.

The implication of the initial court order was that customers whose accounts were frozen, would have remained so till the judgement was issued in respect of the court case.

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The Federal Government had in October last month, obtained a court order seeking interim forfeiture of funds in bank accounts with no Bank Verification Number (BVN) or Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.
The Federal Government also sought the following information from the banks.
• Names of accounts without BVN.
• Account Numbers.
• Outstanding balances.
• Domicilary accounts without BVN.
• Branch/locations where these accounts are domiciled.

In addition, the government has also sought the approval of the court to instruct the banks to disclose any investments made with these funds and to freeze any outward movement from these accounts. The banks have begun compliance with the court order asking them to hand over the records of bank customers to the Central Bank of Nigeria.