Businessmen Adedoyin Olasunkanmi, Adewoye Joshua and Onadeko Olusesan have filed a suit against Union Bank of Nigeria Plc over alleged breach of contractual agreement.
The customers are asking the Lagos State High Court to grant them N407.8 million as damages against Union Bank.
In their statement of claim filed through their counsel, Fassy Yusuf, the three businessmen who deal in general iron, steel and metal scraps, instituted the legal action for themselves and on behalf of other stakeholders in the botched transaction with the bank.
According to them, they were approached by one Mr. George from Chidex Nigeria Enterprises, an agent of the receiver/manager duly appointed by the bank who informed them about the availability of Iron, steel and metal scraps, and other movable assets to be disposed by the receiver/manager in Port Harcourt.
They further averred that Olasunkanmi (first claimant) being a long-standing customer of the bank immediately called his bank account manager, one Mr. Brown, for enquiries. The said Mr. Brown confirmed the legitimacy and availability of the goods in the premises of Dec. Oil and Gas Ltd in Port Harcourt, which was a company being managed by the bank’s agent.
The claimants stated that upon the confirmation given by Mr. Brown, they pooled funds and resources together among themselves and many others and raised a total sum of N117, 750, 000. 00. The money was said to have been subsequently transferred to Union Bank on March 1, 2022 for the purchase of the movable items of Dec. Oil and Gas Limited- in receivership at Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt.
The claimants further stated that against all known ethical and professional conduct, the bank issued a backdated receipt dated June 14, 2021, whereas payment was made on March 1, 2022. They added that similar backdated receipt was also issued by the bank’s receiver/manager, Africa Law Practice NG & Company.
The bank was said to have later sent out a letter dated February 16, 2022, confirming the status of its receiver/manager and that Pryce and Penny Consulting should conclude the transaction.
The claimants said they later mobilised men and logistics from Lagos to Port Harcourt but upon getting to the Jetty for evacuation of the movable items, they were prevented from having access to the items purchased, adding that one Damilare Fasanya, an employee of the receiver/manager was contacted and informed of the development.
The claimants stressed that Fasanya asked them to pay additional N22 million into the account of Pryce and Penny Consulting, before they could access and evacuate the items paid for. They said the request was later met, following which they were allowed to enter the Jetty.
However, the claimants averred that upon their entry into the Jetty, they were arrested by the police on March 24, 2022, over allegation of stealing and fraudulent conversion. They were locked up and their equipments were seized.
According to the claimants, they were later told by the police that the items have been sold to another party.
The claimants further said Fasanya was also invited by the police and he promised that the bank would refund the money. But the bank has failed to so do.
No date has been fixed or hearing.