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Customer sues bank over illegal withdrawals


Union bank

A customer of Union Bank, Mr. Benjamin Okoronkwo, has sued the bank over alleged illegal withdrawal of the sum of N5.9 million from his savings account domiciled with the Umuahia branch office.

In the suit marked No HU/307/2018 and filed before the High Court of Abia State, Umuahia, the claimant is seeking an order directing the defendant to credit his account number: 0031643754 with the sum of N5,931,000.90 illegally removed from the said account without his knowledge or authorization.

The claimant is also seeking an order directing the defendant to pay a compound monthly capitalization at the rate of two per cent per month on the said sum from May 27, 2013 when the said amount was illegally removed from the account till the day of final judgment in the suit.

Also the claimant is seeking an order directing the defendant to pay N20 million as general damages for breach of trust and fiduciary relationship and inconveniences caused the claimant.

In his statement on oath filed before the court, Okoronkwo stated that sometimes in 2008, he opened a savings account at the defendant’s Bank Road Branch, Umuahia and operated the account until February 10, 2009 when he travelled to South Africa.

He also stated that he did not close the account with the defendant but rather travelled with all documents relating to the said account. While in South Africa, deposits were made on his behalf to the bank account to the tune of N6 million, and he did not make application for online banking or ATM card either in person or by electronic means.

The claimant stated that when he returned to Nigeria in February 2014 for his traditional marriage, he went to make withdrawals only to be informed that his account balance was N32,657.52.

At this point, the claimant said he applied and obtained his statement of account. When he studied the statement he discovered that between April 11 and May 27, 2013, a total of N5,931,000.90 was removed from his account without his knowledge.

In the oath, the claimant said that following this development, he went to the office of the branch manager for an explanation but was told to exercise patience while the bank’s head office tries to rectify and effect the appropriate credit in his account.

The claimant said he has suffered a great deal of inconvenience because of the action of the defendant of not allowing him access to the funds in his bank account. He is therefore seeking for a declaration that the various removals or debits from his savings account without his consent are unlawful.

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