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Alleged N70m fraud: Bank files defence

By Ola Ajayi
Diamond Bank Plc has filed its statement of defence as ordered by an Oyo State High Court in a suit instituted against it by its former employees who felt cheated by the way they were dismissed by the bank.

Dissatisfied with their sack, the seven ex-staff of the bank had approached the court arguing that their dismissal was wrongful, malicious and of no effect.

Five of the workers were accused of having conspired with a customer to defraud the bank of N70million, while two others were dismissed after they had resigned their appointment with the bank.

Names of the ex-workers of the bank are Utieyin Obioru, Adesoji Adekunle, Chukwuma Kalu, Tokunbo Osayemi, Gbolahan Ladoja, Alabi Oloruntobi and Adio Oluwasegun.

With the defence of the defendant already filed, it is expected that the trial of the case would begin on the 29 June 2010.

At the sitting of the court Monday, counsel to the defendant, Mr. Aluko Faleti told the court that though, he had already filed an application, praying the court to consolidate all the suits, he said he would like to put the application on hold pending the time the response of the plaintiffs would be filed.

The presiding judge, Justice Eni Esan adjourned all the seven different cases filed by the aggrieved workers to 29 June,2010.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, Miss Abimbola Olawumi said the court should just allow her clients to file their response within three days.

When speaking with newsmen after the sitting of the court, she said, “they have filed their statement of defence in which they raised other new issues. We are going to reply within the next two or three days.

She explained that they (defendants) had been embarrassing her clients after they had followed the normal laid down rules and regulations of the bank.

Counsel to the defendant, Mr. Faleti said his clients had filed their defence, the ball is now in the court of the plaintiffs to file their reply.

One of the aggrieved workers, Mr. Tokunbo Osayemi  told newsmen that he had suffered untold hardship in the past two years and that was why they decided to take their matter to court where they were sure of justice.

They are praying the court to order the bank to pay them about N300 million as damages for wrongful dismissal and false imprisonment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


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