Court seals Skye Bank branches over breach of contract

Posted by News Express | 15 January 2016 | 3,077 times

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Transactions were yesterday halted in all the branches of Skye Bank, including the pay point office inside Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, LAUTECH in Osogbo, Osun State capital, as the state High Court sealed off the bank for allegedly breaching over N3 billion contract with Tuns Farms Nigeria Limited. At the early hours of yesterday morning, court officials with armed police men had stormed the four branches of Skye Bank when the bank was set to receive customers, preventing transactions and other activities. All the staff were sent out of the banking hall and offices while cars, generators, and other movable properties of the bank were moved away.

The Honda Accord with registration number, Lagos KTU 373 AY, belonging to the Regional Manager of the bank in Fagbewesa Street, Osogbo, was also towed away. While pleading for mercy, the Regional Manager, who was in a totally unsettled mood to answer questions from journalists, said his second car at the Alekuwodo branch had also been towed away. He urged the court officials to leave one for him to enable him move around.

Investigation revealed that the bank had entered into agreement with Tuns Farm in 2005 when the bank offered a credit facility of N414,000,000 to Tuns and the money was accepted to develop the Abuja property projected to earn Tuns a net income of N1.152 billion. It was gathered that Skye Bank turned around and released only N150 million, thus frustrating the company’s project and caused damages for huge loss of investment.

According to the judgment signed on January 12, 2016 and obtained by our correspondent, the court is to seize any money, bank notes, cheques, bills of exchange, promissory notes, bonds or securities for money found within the Osogbo Judicial Division of the bank. In a Certified True Copy of judgment delivered by Justice A. O. Ogunlade on March 14, 2014, the court held: “I am convinced by overwhelming evidence laid before me that the Defendant (Skye Bank) breached the fundamental terms of the contract in facility 11 of Exhibit PA1 without lawful justification and I hereby make an award of special damage in full to the Claimant, in the sum of N421,384,000, being the loss the Claimant suffered due to the refusal and failure of the Defendant to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract of 17th August, 2005.”

The court further held: “The Claimant through one of the paragraphs of its statement of claim has established the fact that the breach of the terms and conditions of the contract in facility 11 of Exhibit PA1 caused the Claimant’s director and shareholders myriad of psychological trauma and emotional breakdown.

“I am in agreement with the assertion of the Claimant, considering the credible and in some areas uncontroverted evidence led before me that general damage should be awarded in this suit. I consider the sum of N25 million adequate, as general damages to the Claimant by the Defendant in this suit.”

Also, in the appeal filed by Skye Bank against Tuns International Holdings Ltd and Tuns Properties Ltd, dated May 8, 2015, Justice Mohammed Danjuma of the Court of Appeal held that the appeal lacks merit and is “hereby dismissed.” The court therefore affirmed the judgment of the High Court of Osun State delivered by Justice Aderibigbe. Three High Court judges, Justices Oyejide Falola, A. O. Ogunlade and Adeigbe Aderibigbe, had presided over the matter, and given similar judgment. Justice Falola on November 20, 2015 awarded N2.473 billion in favour of the claimant (Tuns Farms), N150 million as general damages, while Justice Ogunlade awarded N421,384,000 and N25 million damages against the defendant (Skye Bank). However, all efforts of Skye Bank to win the case have been futile as Justice Danjuma subsequently dismissed their petition on June 4, 2015. (Nigerian Pilot)

Source: News Express

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