AN Abuja High Court has slated Monday, September 17, 2018, for the hearing of the N30 million suit slammed against Aso Savings and Loans Plc by a company, Cosland Works and Designs Ltd.
The plaintiff, a firm of architects, engineers and realtors alleged that the bank unleashed illegal interest rates and charges on its account on a false claim that it received a loan facility from the bank.
The company wants the court to declare that Aso Savings and Loans was negligent when it paid N10 million to a 3rd party when it did not fund its account and instructed that the two cheques it issued the bank should not be honoured.
The plaintiff, Cosland Works and Designs Ltd wants the court to hold that it did not take any unauthorised overdraft or loan of N10 million from the bank and as such, not indebted to it and also wants the court to order the bank to pay it N25 million as damages, N5 million as the cost of filing the suit as well as an award of 10 percent post judgment interest on the entire judgment sum from the date of judgment till same is fully liquidated.
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The plaintiff said in a statement of claim that, sometime in 2012, it entered into an agreement with a company called, El-Sunnie Integrated Services Ltd to develop Plot 122, Karmo District, Abuja, for and on behalf of the National Library of Nigeria, which El-Sunnie Integrated Services said was the beneficial owner of the land measuring about 7. 350.19sqm.
It said El-Sunnie Integrated Services made representations that N20 million must be provided by any new developer to the previous developer that was dis-engaged (as pay off).
The plaintiff issued El-Sunnie Integrated Services two separate post dated cheques of N10 million each, with a sum of N1 million with an understanding that, upon clearing the N20 million cheque, El-Sunnie would refund the N1 million back to the plaintiff.
Plaintiff was shocked when it discovered from the Department Control Office, Abuja and the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) that the interest of the National Library of Nigeria over the said plot of land was long revoked and the land had been allocated to a 3rd party.
“It dawned on the plaintiff that either the National Library of Nigeria or El-Sunnie Integrated Services Ltd were out to defraud developers”, it stated.
After the plaintiff discovered the truth, it wrote to Aso Savings and Loan (Defendant) not to honour the cheques issued El-Sunnie Integrated Services Ltd and also to El-Sunnie Integrated Services Ltd not to present the said cheques and notified them of the revocation of the interest of the National Library over the land and pulled out of the deal and refused to fund his account with the bank.
“The plaintiff was alarmed when it got a debit alert of N10 million and simultaneously, the plaintiff was informed that its cheque was wrongly paid/cleared and that the plaintiff should warn the beneficiaries not to cash the money but return same to the bank through the plaintiff’s account.
“The payment of N10 million was an obvious case of error and professional negligence and the defendant did nothing to halt a possible withdrawal”, it stated and noted that the bank engaged El-Sunnie in the matter and when the plaintiff thought the matter was over all through 2013 and 2015, it started getting alert of interests and penalties on a purported loan of N10 million.
The plaintiff was told at the Head office of the bank that it took an unathourised overdraft of N10 million., which it disclaimed and added that the bank has unleashed all manner of punitive charges, interest rates, administrative charges into its account in the loan/overdraft.
It said, in April, 2016, the defendant invited the plaintiff’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Collins Ugbotor and threatened to use the EFCC to deal with the plaintiff company until the bank recover the said purported loan/overdraft together with all the interest and punitive charges which stand at over N27 million as at the time of filing the suit.
It said the plaintiff’s CEO now live in fear of a possible torture and detention by EFCC operatives.
Meanwhile, the plaintiff had, in a motion on notice filed by its counsel, Kingsley Chika Muoemeka on May 31, asked the court to restrain Aso Savings and Loans not to take any further step (Whether by the use of the police or any other agency) for the purposes of recovering the N10 million or any other sum connected with the subject matter in the case, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
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