BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
The Sterling Bank Plc has been dragged to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory over deduction of salary and allowance of workers over ungranted and unsolicited loan.
The matter which came up for definite hearing on 15TH June, 2022 has Mr. Justin Tseeneke as the Claimant and Sterling Bank Plc as the Defendant.
According to the Counsel to the Claimant, Barr. Emmanuel Odu Onabe, Sterling Bank Plc has been illegally deducting salary and allowance every month for a loan that was neither solicited for by his client nor granted by the bank.
Barr. Onabe asked the court to order the Sterling Bank to pay the Claimant the sum of N50, 000,000. (fifty million naira ) only as general damages for emotional trauma and economic topsy-turvy suffered by the Claimant in the circumstance of the case.
This medium observed from the documents presented to the court, that the Starling Bank through its workers and agents approached Mr. Justin Tseeneke and few others to open account with the bank in order to be given a loan of their choice. Mr. Tseeneke indeed abandoned his Access Bank Account (Salary Account) and opened an account with Sterling Bank as a condition to get the loan.
The Sterling Bank also on their side credited Justin Tseeneke’s account with the sum of N1,992,851.77(one million, nine hundred and ninety two thousand, eight hundred and fifty one naira) only but in a dramatic move, blocked Tseeneke’s account making him not to access the fund.
Despite not having access to the loan, the bank continued to deduct his salary and allowance on monthly basis even when (he) Tseeneke through his lawyer told the bank that he is unable to access the fund and that he is no longer interested in the loan.
The court had on 28TH March, 2022 adjourned the case to 15th June, 2022 for definite hearing. However, when the matter came up for definite hearing, the Counsel to the Defendant, Barr. Chidinma Okorie brought a motion to amend their defence before the court.
The Counsel to the Claimant, Barr. Onabe ferociously opposed the grant of the application on ground that it is brought malafide as an attempt to continue to delay the matter.
The Defendant Counsel had earlier on 28th March, 2022 brought the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court on the ground that there was no cause of action. Hon. Justice Adepoju agreed with the Counsel to Claimant that the court has jurisdiction over the case and struck out the Defendant’s Counsel application. She then adjourned the case to 15th June, 2022.
On their new motion, the Claimant Counsel, vociferously opposed the motion and requested for N500,000 as the cost noting that the Claimant flee in an aircraft from his destination to Abuja for the definite hearing.
Justice Adepoju however, said in the interest of justice, granted the application and awarded the cost of N150,000 to the Claimant against the Defendant. She adjourned the matter to 15th November, 2022.