A Twenty Five Million Naira damages have been awarded against Diamond Bank, now Access Bank,For freezing the bank account of one Mr. Adetokunbo Odutola on the directive of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice S.O Nwaka of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja Judicial Division, gave judgment against the bank for freezing the account on the request of EFCC without Court Orders in respect of it.
According to The Herald, the Judge said, a bank account can only be frozen on the order of a court and not on the instructions of a law enforcement or anti-corruption agency.
The judge held;
“The bank went ahead to place PND (Post No Debit) on the account of the claimant on the instructions of the EFCC. The bank ought to have demanded from the EFCC an order of court to that effect.
“It is not in the power of the EFCC to authorise a PND on any customer’s account. The EFCC must not usurp the powers of a court of law. The duty of care owed the claimant by the second defendant (Diamond Bank) is nothing but breached.
“This is a society whose affairs are supposed to be governed and conducted in accordance with the law. The EFCC and the bank taking law into their own hands is nothing but shameful.
“I am satisfied that the claimant has proved his case on the preponderance of evidence and I so hold. Judgment is hereby entered for the claimant against the second defendant as per his claims.”
On the account of negligence and breach of the duty of care prayed by the claimant, the judge awarded a sum of N25m against Diamond Bank as special and general damages.