Keystone Bank has denied reports that the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), forced it to convert the $1 at N305.
The reports came after the bank met with the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of all recovered loots on the Federal Government’s $40 million funds, which were in its custody.
In a statement signed by the bank’s General Counsel and Company Secretary, Dr Michael Agamah, Keystone stated that the in question was not a “recovered loot”, but belonged to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The statement read in part, “The money in issue was not a ‘recovered loot’. The sum involved belonged to NNPC which came into the position of Keystone Bank in the normal and ordinary course of business.
“The deposit was subject to mutually agreed terms and conditions, which included repayment terms applicable to other deposits of a similar nature.”
Agamah also disclosed that the exchange rate used at the time to convert the $40 million was the official rate, adding that “the parties to this transaction were not at liberty to have recourse to parallel market rates, which is what the trending histrionic reporting appears to be suggesting.”
“We did not inform the Ad-hoc Committee during our presentation that the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation ‘forced’ us to ‘convert recovered loot at N305 per dollar’. Such an unduly sensational headline, in our opinion, is a disservice to the profession of journalism, and antithetical to the objectivity and accuracy which responsible reporting is known for.
“The processes that culminated in our bank repaying in full, NNPC’s deposits with us are well documented, and based on mutual negotiations between our bank and the owner of the funds.
“We reiterate that at no time did we insinuate that the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation acted improperly, forced us to transfer or acted outside the powers of his office.
“Our bank has discharged its obligation to its customer under a regular and validated framework, the same way we honour our obligations to all our customers”, the statement added.