Monday, 28 October 2013

Client demands N25m damages from Fidelity Bank over returned cheque

WorldStage Newsonline-- Former President, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) Mr. Abayomi Ojikutu has dragged Fidelity Bank to Federal High Court, Lagos, demanding N25 million damages for dishonouring a manager's cheque that was returned unpaid. 

While Ojikutu contended that while he had enough fund in his Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island Lagos branch to fund the transaction, the bank returned the cheque unpaid due to what it called human error.                                                

Ojikutu therefore asked the court and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pay him N25 million for “negligently and maliciously dishonouring the bank's manager's cheque of N1,200,000 to a third party.”      
The former NIM boss, now a management consultancy added that he drew with cheque number 5036363 for N1,200,000 in favour of his landlady on May 16,2013, Mrs. Esther Olubukola Balogun. When the manager's cheque was presented by Balogun through her bank - Guaranty Trust Bank, the cheque was returned unpaid, an action he said made him to be regarded as a “person not credible to be dealing with cheques”.         

Upon a protest to the bank,  Okechukwu Eke and Kingsley Ohiri both of Fidelity Bank's Legal Services Division, in a letter dated July 15,2013  to Ojikutu's lawyer, Ladipo Fasade apologised, adding that, “the return of the cheque was an unfortunate human error in the processing of the instrument.This is deeply regretted.”                                         

Both Eke and Ohiri in the letter concluded that, “Notwithstanding that your client has since cancelled and reissued the cheque to the same beneficiary, we have also written to the beneficiary to explain that the error leading to the return of the cheque was entirely ours.”       

Ojikutu therefore still wants the court to compel Fidelity Bank and CBN which is the supervisory institution to pay him N25 million.

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