Appeal Court Asks United Bank for Africa To Pay 2.7 Mln Damages To Firm
By Olumidagreaton December 24, 2018
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A Court of Appeal in Ibadan has ordered United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc to pay 2.7 million as general damages to Siegner Sabithos Nigeria Limited over negligence and breach of banker and customer relationship.
In a ruling upholding the judgment of an Oyo State High Court, the court of appeal dismissed the appeal filed UBA against the judgment of the Oyo High Court.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, the appeal court averred the lower court had the right to award both special and general damages to the appellant for breach of contract.
The High Court had earlier in its judgment ordered the appellant United Bank for Africa (UBA) to pay Siegner Sabithos Nigeria Limited a sum of 216, 555. 17 naira difference between exchange rate within the transaction period, the time the money was deducted and remitted.
The Court also ordered UBA to pay Siegner Sabithos a sum of 2.72 million naira as general damages suffered by the respondents’ foreign business and goodwill.
The appellant Court directed the appellant, UBA to pay to the respondent the sum of 2.72 million naira being general damages suffered by the respondent as a result of the negligence handling of the respondent’s foreign business and bank account resulting into loss of business, contract and goodwill with foreign and local business partners and beneficiaries.
Siegener Sabithos Nigeria Limited had dragged Dugbe, Ibadan branch of the commercial lender before the court on the account of negligence and a breach of the banker and customer relationship.
The company claimed that UBA failed to remit £10, 673 to the City of London College, London for the payment of school fees of seven of the plaintiff’s students until 17 days after the amount had been deducted from the Siegner Sabithos Nigeria Limited’s account.
In a writ of summon, the claimant had sought:
“Declaration that the delay by the defendant in remitting the sum of £10, 673 to the City of London College for the payment of school fees of seven of its students until 17 clear days after the said amount was deducted from the plaintiff’s account.”
UBA in its arguments explained that transaction between it and the respondent was to be executed as quickly as possible, however, said that the delay in remitting the money to the beneficiary was a result of procedural and administrative constraints which must be observed as required by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
It also explained that the delay in transferring the funds was further caused by the change of name of the Chief Executive Officer of the Siegener Sabithos Nigeria Limited.
However, the Court of Appeal dismissed UBA appeal for lack of merit and ordered the bank to pay the damages.
The court also overruled the preliminary objection of the appellant and awarded 216, 555. 17 naira as the exchange rate between the transaction period when the money deducted from Siegener’s account and remitted to the City of London College and 2.72 million naira as general damages against the bank.