WOW !!! Court Orders GTB to Refund N5.3bn to Customer’s Account

A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday ordered Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB)to refund N5.3bn illegally withdrawn from the account of one its customers, Dr. Ted Edwards.

According to the plaintiff shortly after the money was paid into his account on behalf of his clients, GTB made some disbursements from the account as directed, but that he was only informed on December 12 by an official of the bank that the Central Bank of Nigeria had withdrawn the N5.3bn.

He said that when he enquired from the bank why it made deduction from his account without his consent, he said GTB only insisted that the withdrawal was made in obedience to CBN directive, which it could not disobey.

Justice Valentine Ashi held in his judgment that GTB betrayed the banker-customer relationship between it and the plaintiff.

The judge held that   it was wrong for GTB to make withdrawal from the customer’s account without the customer’s knowledge and consent.

The judge held that GTB’s claim that it was helpless and that the withdrawal was at the instance of CBN was not acceptable.

Justice  Ashi, in his judgment, also ruled that amount will attract 10 per cent interest from Monday, when judgment was delivered, till the time the money was paid back to the owner.

The court also ordered that the money should attract another 21 per cent interest from December 12, 2014 when GTB allowed the illegal withdrawal, until the fund was eventually paid back to Edwards.

The judge, held that the bank did not have any defence to its action of the withdrawal of the total sum of N5,240,516,186.21 from the customer’s account and thereby ordered the bank to pay the money to the owner through his Zenith Bank Plc account.

The money was paid into the plaintiff’s law firm’s account with the GTB on January 2, 2014 by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Jonah Otunla.

The money was said to be for the settlement of a judgment got by his clients, Impecca Services Limited and His Royal Highness, Eze Ezekwo, against the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, as cost of consultancy services they rendered to the 774 local governments.

Source: The Punch

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