Illegal indebtedness: Court Awards N 1.1million Damages Against Diamond Bank
Justice Adenike J. Coker (Mrs.) presiding over a commercial division of a Lagos State High Court, has ordered Diamond Bank PLC to pay the sum of N1.1 million, to one of its customers, a limited liability Company Chizeck Chemical Company Limited, over unlawful closure of the customer’s account.
Justice Coker gave the order in a judgment delivered in a suit filed by the Chizeck Chemical Company Limited, against the bank over unlawful closure of its account without its knowledge.?
The chemical producing company had approached the court seeking a declaration that he was not indebted to the bank in the sum of N30, 314. 30, or any sum at all, as allegedly claimed by the bank, without documents to substantiate the alleged indebtedness.
The company also sought an order for the payment of sum of N6 million, as general damages for the serious economic damage caused to it and cost of prosecuting the suit respectively.
During the trial of the suit, the plaintiff, stated that sometimes in 2008, as a customer to Diamond Bank, it approached Union Bank for a credit facility of a N10 million, to enhance its business activities, and that a facility of N5 million was granted.?
?The chemical firm stated that it was surprised that the application to utilize the balance of the credit facility from the Union Bank was queried on the ground of alleged indebtedness to Diamond Bank herein from fees/charges, and that the account was said to have gone dormant.?
The plaintiff, through its managing director, Uzoma Ajoku, however imformed the court that it discovered on enquiry from Diamond Bank for its statement of Account that the alleged false information had been passed by the Diamond Bank to the Credit Bureau. Adding that Diamond Bank failed to give him the Statement of Account nor able to produce any document that showing the alleged indebtedness, despite its many demand.?
During the trial of the suit, Diamond Bank did not file any defence, though, represented by a lawyer, Mr. Ohiembor, who had informed the court that he was yet to regularize his position while pleaded with the court to be allowed to file defence out of time.?
Upon the failure of Diamond Bank to file any defence before the court, lawyer to the claimant, Iretioluwa A. Layonu (Ms), then urged the court to grant all the reliefs sought by her client.?
?Delivering judgement in the suit, Justice Coker (Mrs.), stated that Diamond Bank’s lawyer had not shown good faith of wanting to progress with the matter,adding that it was observed that all the processes filed by the lawyer neither bears Nigerians Bar Association’s stamp, seal, nor was there receipt of payment for same.?
?Consequently, Justice Coker (Mrs.), awarded cost of N1.1 million as general damages and cost for prosecuting the suit respectively, in favour of the chemical firm and against Diamond Bank.?