For obvious reasons, some bank accounts are still without the compulsory Bank Verification Number, BVN.

Now, the federal government is seeking final forfeiture of such funds, but the courts have refused to grant it permission to do so.

On Friday, the Federal High Court in Abuja rejected the Federal Government’s request for an order of final forfeiture of all the funds contained in all accounts without the BVN in all the country’s 19 commercial banks.

Rather, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba affirmed his ruling of October 17, 2017, which was modified on November 15, 2017, directing the 19 commercial banks in the country to freeze all accounts without the BVN and advertise the details of the accounts, including the amounts in them in a newspaper.

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Justice Dimgba had on November 15, 2017 modified the October 17, 2017 order by directing banks to unfreeze the frozen accounts whenever the owners came forward for the BVN registration.

Dismissing the Federal Government’s motion requesting the final forfeiture of the proceeds of the accounts, Justice Dimgba ruled in his judgment that necessary steps had yet to be taken to warrant a final forfeiture of the targeted funds.

The judge ruled that the Federal Government had failed to prove that the funds in them were either abandoned or proceeds of crime, as it claimed.

“The onus of proof that the funds were unclaimed or are proceeds of crime lies on the applicants,” the judge said.

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