A Jos High Court yesterday ordered First Bank of Nigeria Plc to refund N4.56 million illegal transfer made on the account of one of its deceased customers.
The Acting Chief Judge of Plateau, Justice Pius Damulak, in his judgment, declared the transfer made by the bank on the personal account of late Bawa Yarima on his demise, as illegal and unprofessional.
He said that the mandate left by late Yarima on which the bank claimed to have acted could not remain valid after his death.
The judge declared that the transfer of N4.56 million out of his personal account, without authority of the Estate Administrators, was illegal.
The judge held that the applicant, who is the third son of the deceased, had proved his case against the bank and that the first son, Solomon and his other two siblings, had no right to order the release of the fund without the consent of the estate administrators.
Besides, he held that there was no proof that the deceased or his hotel owed the bank such an amount.
The judge held that the plaintiff had proved his case and ordered the return of the amount to the personal account of late Yarima under the estate administrators.
Damulak awarded an accumulated cost of N300,000 in favour of the plaintiff.
The bank, through its counsel, Chief Ofodile Okafor, SAN, claimed that Yarima owed it N4.56 million at his demise, being an investment on his hotel.
The bank said that the transfer of the amount from the deceased personal account was in settlement of the debt.
Okafor said that authority to transfer the fund was given by Solomon Yarima, the first son of the deceased, as the Managing Director of his hotel and estate.