The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday struck out the suit filed by the Federal Government against seven commercial banks, which were accused of violating government’s Treasury Single Account policy.
As Justice Chuka Obiozor struck out the suit, he awarded a cost of N200,000 each in of favour six out of the seven banks against the Federal Government.
The striking out of the suit followed an application for discontinuation filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
Granting the AGF’s application for discontinuation of the suit, Justice Obiozor held, “I have considered the stage at which the notice of discontinuance was filed in this suit; the suit has yet to proceed to trial.
“I have also considered the reason given for withdrawal of the suit, which as it were was of public interests. The proper order to make in this matter is to strike out and not to dismiss. I do not find that the justice of this case demands a dismissal.
“Nevertheless, I shall not turn a blind eye on the effect of the interim order on the defendants. In the matter of cost, the court has a discretion which must be exercise judicially and judiciously, according to the rules of reasoning and justice. Besides, compensation is the basis for awarding cost. Indeed, the defendants deserve compensation which I put at N200,000 to be paid to each of the defendants with the exception of the third defendant.
“In the final analysis, this suit is hereby struck out. The plaintiffs shall not re-list this suit without the leave of court while the interim order is discharged.”
The Federal Government had on July 20, 2017, approached the court, alleging that the seven commercial banks connived with some government agencies to illegally hide in their coffers, a total of $793,200,000, which was meant to have been transmitted to the TSA account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.