Court orders bank to refund N636m to customer over illegal debits

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BY ENYIM ENYIM

ONITSHA—The Court of Appeal in Enugu, presided by Justice M.O. Bolaji-Yusuf, has ordered a bank (names withheld) to refund the sum of N637,920, 556 to its customer, F.G Onyenwe Motors Nigeria Limited, for alleged fraudulent perpetuation of excessive and unlawful charges on the customer’s account in the course of transactions with the bank.

The appellate court gave the order while dismissing an appeal brought before it by the bank challenging the judgement of a Federal High Court, Enugu, which found the bank liable for making false debit entries into the customer’s account.

The transport company and the respondent in the appeal was granted several loan facilities which, according to the appellant, the respondent failed to liquidate as at when due.
The appellant, in the bid to recover its loan through the assistance of a high court in Enugu, negotiated terms of settlement with the respondent and consequently a consent judgement was entered in favour of the appellant.

The respondent alleged that in the course of complying with the terms of the judgement, for which he had already remitted over N100 million, it was discovered that the appellant perpetuated a lot of irregularities in its account, adding that it was fraudulently misled into entering into terms of settlement which led to the consent judgement.

Following the development, the respondent, through his lawyer, Chief Tagbo Ike, filed a suit against the bank at the Federal High Court, Enugu, seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that the defendant had no legal basis or lawful right to charge excessive commissions and interests on the overdraft facilities granted the customer (plaintiff).

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