The House of Representatives yesterday interrogated the Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC bank, Mr. Demola Sogunle as to why the bank operated two accounts of over N1 billion for the Federal Ministry of Environment allegedly in breach of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, policy of the Federal Government.
The House, through its Hon. Abubakar Nuhu Damburam led ad-hoc committee probing into the level of implementation of the TSA policy were taken aback learning that the financial institution operated the accounts without a waiver from President Muhammadu Buhari as stipulated by the TSA policy.
The lawmakers noted that owing to the seriousness of TSA, only the President could give approval for an exemption. Segunle however insisted that the bank obtained a presidential approval, which was conveyed to them in a letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, saying that they do not have any other document personally signed by President Buhari.
This was after series of attempts by Damburam (APC Kano) and other members of the committee to get Sogunle to show proof of approval of how the operation of the accounts by officials of the ministry involving N930 million and $4.9 million failed to yield result.
The committee insisted that a letter from the bank at its disposal signed by the Chief of Staff to President Buhari conveying the decision to exempt the NNPC and the Petroleum ministry is not the same as an approval to exempt the ministry of environment.
Sogunle however claimed the decision by his bank to operate the account was duly approved by government maintaining that it would be a tall order for him to go out of his ways to get President Buhari’s approval.
The bank chief however assured the lawmakers that he would tender the presidential approval, stating that, “I will make available all information to this committee. There is no intention to hide anything”.
However, a member of the House, Mr. Adamu Kamale (Adamawa PDP) said, “MD, please don’t try to run around to get us a document that was not there before.
“We want to see the evidence of the approval with dates prior to the commencement of this investigation.”
Stanbic IBTC Bank was, at the end of the day, given up to Tuesday next week to produce the document.