Sterling, First Bank Drag 2 Customers To Court

Sterling and First Bank have dragged two customers before an Ikeja Magistrate Court over their failure to payback an overdraft granted them.

The Banks claimed two Customers: Engineer Lawal Owosetan and Gbenga Rasaq, took N700,000 overdraft  on May 23, 2003, in which the two parties agreed to use their shares of like sum as collateral.

The financial institutions further claimed that the customers failed to pay back the principal within the agreed period, thereby accumulating to One million, one hundred and eighteen thousand, eighty five kobo(N1,118,85), as at the time the suit was filed on March 16, 2017.

Barrister Ademola Aina, the counsel to the defendant, while cross-examining a bank witness in the suit, established with exhibits UN 16 Page 16, UN 10, paragraph 15, that between the period the overdraft was granted, to August 25, 2011, his clients have paid the sum of N690,000 in installments to the banks.

The defendant also tendered a document written by the solicitor of the banks to his clients on Nov 19, 2012, to confirm the receipt of the amount paid back overtime from the two customers.

While establishing other facts to disprove the claims of the banks, Barrister Aina, filed statements of accounts of his clients, which claimed that the balance of their account in 2003, was N711,542, and share value of 998, 628—which he claimed were wrongly calculated and estimated by the banks.

He however questioned the banks for failing to sell the share in order to offset the debt if the claim was genuine, and the decision to calculate interest on the overdraft, despite acknowledging the receipt of  N690,000 in repayment.

A female witness, to the suit on behalf of the banks, said financial institutions in Nigeria do not easily sell off disposable collaterals, even when customers default.  She added that the shares were in the custody of the Central Security Clearing System, CSCS, and not the banks, and that the banks never had control on the shares because Lien was not on it from the banks.

The banks, which are claimants to the suit and the defendant also filed affidavits and counter-affidavit on whether the banks should proceed with the sale of the shares.

The Presiding Magistrate, Aje-Afwa , however adjourned the cross-examination of witnesses to the suit to October 26.

Oluwafemi Ashaolu

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