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Civil Service Union pickets GTB over account freeze

Nigerian Civil Service Union (NCSU), Federal Capital Territory Council, on Tuesday picketed Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) over alleged freezing of accounts belonging to the union members.

The picketing exercise which lasted for few hours disrupted commercial activities at the Area 3 branch in the FCT.

Mr Prince Sani, Secretary General of the union, FCT Council, told newsmen in Abuja that the freezing of the union account by the bank was uncalled for.

“Three days ago, we wanted to access our account and we realised that a restriction has been placed on the account by the bank without a valid court order.

“They also presented a letter to us by a public trustee and I think we as a council, we are not in any court case with any organisation or anybody.

“Courtesy also demand that if our account should be frozen, even the bank has a duty to tell us, because this is a bank we have been operating with for the past 12 years,” he said.

Sani also noted that this was not the first time that the GTB had frozen the union account.

He said there was a similar case about two years ago in which the bank apologised and no legal action was taken against them.

“The same thing has repeated itself again and it is because we did not sue them at that time.

“Because before you freeze an account there must be a court order. We felt that this is wrong and that we should inform them.

“We therefore wrote an officially letter to them, in which we, the federal administrative members including the council chairman was here yesterday to deliver the letter.

“We told them that yesterday that if the bank account was not unfrozen by the end of yesterday, we will picket the bank today.

“We told them that if bank account was also not unfrozen by the end of today, we will picket GTB nationwide,” he said.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) recently appointed a Public Trustee to run the affairs of the union.

The appointment was made following the nullification of the council’s January 2018 National Delegates Conference in which the Lawrence Amaechi-led executive was elected.

The Public Trustee, Mr Monday Ubani, had assumed duty since Jan. 21.

Reacting, an official source at the GTB said that the bank had placed a restriction order on the account of the union acting on a NICN order.

“The court appointed a public trustee that will manage the affairs of the union since they can’t leave it without executives.

“The public trustee that was appointed was a man called Mr Ubani.

“Since one of the mandates the court gave him was to oversee the finances of the union, he then asked that there should be a restriction of the account of the union so that he will be able to do an audit.

“There is a restriction on the account so that he will be able to perform the audit.

“We are civil people, we have allowed them to disrupt our business but we hope that Mr Ubani will take care of things so that we can do our business,’’ the source told.

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