By Egena Sunday Ode
Three years after an Abuja High Court awarded N50 million damages against First Bank for fraud against Famag – Jal Nigeria Limited , the bank is yet to comply out the order .
Recall that Justice A. M. Talba had in November 2017 in his judgment awarded 50 million damages against First Bank.
The judgment followed a suit filed in the court by a director and shareholder in the company Tafida Isa Mafindi, accusing first Bank of fraud.
According to him the bank gave him a commercial loan instead of agricultural loan he sought for.
The judge in his judgement berated First Bank for acting negligently by conveying a wrong expiration date of 12 months with 6 months moratorium to Central Bank Of Nigeria instead of 46 months inclusive of 6 months moratorium which resulted in the recall of funds granted Famag- Jal Nigeria limited by the CBN offer letter dated January 27,2010.
He also stated that a declaration that the acts of the Bank for refusing to immediately disclose its negligence of conveying a wrong expiration date of 12 months with a six months moratorium to CBN instead of 46 months inclusive of 6 months moratorium to the company which resulted in the recall funds granted the company by the CBN has grossly affected the business of the plaintiff .
He equally declared that the bank fraudulently and knowingly sought to benefit from their negligent act of conveying a wrong expiration date of 12 months with a 6 months moratorium to CBN instead of 46 months inclusive of 6 months moratorium which resulted in the recall of funds granted by the CBN by offering the company another loan on different terms and conditions from that of the loan granted by the CBN aimed at bringing excessive gain to the Bank and causing untold hardship on the company .
The judge also averred that the letter of offer dated 8 March ,2015 titled restructure of agric loan is null and void having being procured fraudulent or in the alternative an order of court directing that the interest payable in respect of the said loan be reverted to 9% per annum.
He said an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Bank either by themselves their agents privies or by whatever name called from selling , alienating, disposing of or interfering with the proprietary rights of the company in respect of its property known and situate at No 9 Maputo Street plot 1966 Cadastral Zone 4, Abuja .
The judge completely agreed with the submission of the company’s counsel that the restructured loan agreement between the Famag and First Bank was procured fraudulently due to non disclosure of facts by the Bank .
He said “ consequently having regard to the peculiar circumstances of this cave as it relates to the conduct of the defendant Z and also having regards to exhibits 7 and 8 the Central Bank of Nigeria guild lines for commercial agricultural credit scheme .
“I award N50 million naira as general damages against the defendant . I equally award N1million naira against the defendants being cost of the suit .
“There is no evidence before the court to establish that the 10th relied that the defendant be a stakeholder in the company of the plaintiff sharing the proceeds of the company until the liquidation of the principal loan”.