On 16th January 2023, the SSK DR team led by our Partner, Mrs. Chinasa Unaegbunam obtained a judgment against a top commercial bank at the High Court of Rivers State, Port Harcourt Division. The case involved issues of improper account management, non-compliance with banking guidelines in relation to interest rates and bank charges, and overall mismanagement of a customer’s account leading to financial losses to the customer. The judgment was delivered by Hon. Justice Enebeli.
Our client, who was sued for an alleged outstanding loan counterclaimed to recover sums made up of excess bank and interest charges, unexplained deductions and unearned commissions deducted from its accounts. The court dismissed the claims of the bank and granted our counterclaim. The sum awarded our client was in excess of Three Billion Naira (N3,000,000,000) and Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000). The court also awarded the sum of Twenty-Five Million Naira (N25,000,000) as general damages.
It will be recalled that in August 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed that it had so far recovered over Eighty-Nine Billion, Two million Naira (N89,002,000,000) of excess & illegal charges imposed on customers by banks in Nigeria. Banks play a pivotal role in the growth of any economy as necessary partners to business. It is therefore important that banks build and nurture confidence with their customers. We believe that cases such as this will help in creating the needed awareness that the banking system needs robust internal monitoring processes.
The team members: Chinasa Unaegbunam FCIArb, Eberechi May Okoh MCIArb ACTI, And Queeneth Agu AICMC.