An Ikeja Special Offences Court has warned the Nigerian public to be careful in their dealings with one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, Zenith Bank, calling the bank ‘fraudulent’. “My recommendation is that Zenith Bank is a fraud and people must be very careful in their dealings with the bank”, says Justice O.O Abike-Fadipe.
The judge did not stop there. She accused the bank of bribing both judges and lawyers for 11 years to fraudulently alter the course of justice in its favour. She therefore ordered the bank to pay the sum of N2.5 billion to a company, Real Integrated and Hospitality Limited who for 11 years held the Claimant’s sum of N872, 780, 552.84 million illegally.
Justice Abike-Fadipe, in a judgement she delivered on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in the suit marked LD/ADR/186/2014 between the company and the bank found Zenith bank to have criminally benefitted itself by defrauding its clients.
According to the judge, “the 1st Defendant (Zenith Bank) has been the beneficiary of the malevolent game of chess that plunged both claimant (Real Integrated and Hospitality Ltd) and 2nd Defendant (Subeb) into, holding the sum of N872,780,552.84 (Eight Hundred and Seventy Million Seven Hundred and Eighty Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Two Naira and Eighty Four kobo) in its custody without paying interest thereon from 17th February 2011 until 2nd February 2016 when the Court ordered that the money be paid into an interest yielding account in the name of the claimant and the 2nd Defendant pending determination of the suit, which order was curiously varied…. so that the money remained in the 1st Defendant’s custody without interest”.
Justice Abike-Fadipe, ruled that “The act of Zenith Bank Plc was unconscionable and detrimental to the goodwill of the claimant and its trade with its customers. It was a deliberate and malicious act against the interest of the claimants and continues to enjoy the largesse in bad faith.
“Zenith Bank defrauded it’s customer Real integrated and hospitality Ltd. Zenith Bank embarrassingly defrauded, placed a lien on the account of it’s customer Real integrated and Hospitality Ltd illegally and refused the company to withdraw from its account despite the fact that the said account was In enough credit to cover the withdrawals sought to be made.
“Zenith Bank fraudulently used Real integrated and Hospitality Ltd’s money of N872,780,552.84 for over ten years against their interest dubiously. What is so shameful is that Real Integrated and Hospitality Ltd is the customer who has banking relationships with Zenith Bank.
“On the 17th of January, 2011, Real integrated and Hospitality Limited not for lack of not having money, applied for advance Payment Guarantee (APG) for the supply of 700,000 units of Advanced English Dictionary and Senior illustrated Dictionary in two tranches and the bank in what we call professional misconduct withdrew the value and amount of N1.2 billion from Real integrated and Hospitality Ltd’s account and issued them an advance payment guarantee.
“What that implies in Law is that actually Zenith Bank did not issue any advanced payment guarantees, did not take any risk, did not do anything because it took the money from the account of Real integrated and Hospitality Limited and moved it to sundry account.
“Zenith Bank raised the payment to Repro India for the production of the books, paid the shipment of the books to Apapa Lagos, paid customs duties to customs, paid Ocean marine haulage to move the books to Gombe. All in an attempt to satisfy the Gombe government that they have performed.
“It’s so sad that in the dubiousness of Zenith Bank, having removed the entire amount from the Company’ s account, placed a lien in their N872, 780,552.84 and in the last ten years. Zenith Bank has been playing the game of bribing Judges. It will interest you to know that Justice Lawal after a ruling in the open court to the effect that the money be moved to an interest yi