The court of appeal sitting in Enugu, has ordered Access bank, Plc, to refund a total sum of six hundred and thirty-six million, three hundred and seventy-nine thousand, two hundred and five naira, fifty
six kobo (N636, 379,205.56) to a customer, F.G. Onyenwe motor Nig. Ltd, for fraudulently perpetuating 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 judgment of a federal high court
Enugu which found the bank liable for making false debit entries into the customer’s account.
F.G. Onyenwe motors Nig. Ltd who was a customer of Access bank and the respondent in this appeal, was granted several loan facilities, which according to the appellant (bank) the respondent failed to liquidate
as at when due.
The appellant in a bid to recover its loan through assistance of a high court in Enugu negotiated terms of settlement with the respondent
and consequently, consent judgment entered in favour of the appellant.
The respondent alleged that in the course of complying with the terms of the judgment, for which he had already remitted over N100m, it was
discovered that the appellant perpetuated a lot of irregularities in
its account and that it was fraudulently misled into entering into
terms of settlement which led to the consent judgment.
Following this discovery, the respondent through his layer, Chief Tagbo Ike filed a suit against the bank at the federal high court Enugu seeking among other relief’s, a declaration that the defendant
has no lawful basis or legal right to charge excessive commissions and
interests on the overdraft facilities granted to the customer
The plaintiff also asked the court to set aside the terms of
settlement and consent judgment entered with the bank, and to reverse
all the excessive, wrongful and unlawful debit entries made in the
said account amounting to N275, 202,069.38. It prayed for perpetual
injunction restraining the bank, its staff, agents or privies from
levying execution in respect of the said consent judgment or using any
court official to achieve same.
The plaintiff further sought the court order condemning the defendant
to pay 100% penalty on the excessive charges debited into his account
which stood at N361, 177,136.18.
After hearing from parties and evaluating evidence adduced as well as
submission made by their counsel, the federal high court entered
judgment in favour of the respondent and granted all the reliefs
sought (except relief 6) which was abandoned.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, the appellant filed an appeal at the
court of appeal Enugu on the grounds that the lower court lacked
jurisdiction to entertain and determine the matter and that the lower
court failed to properly evaluate the evidence adduced at the trial by
rejecting the contents of exhibit G1-G5 (which was the expert report
prepared by the appellant bank expert ) as documentary hearsay and
lastly that the judgment was unreasonable, unwarranted and against the
weight of the evidence adduced before the trial court.
But affirming the federal high court judgment after reviewing the
appeal and submissions by counsel to both parties, the 3-man appeal
court unanimously held that the lower court was right in declaring
that the appellant perpetuated excessive, wrongful charges on the
respondent account and fraudulently misled it into believing that it
still owed the bank huge sum of money.
Access Bank To Refund Fraudulent N600 Million To Customer