Court Orders Skye Bank To Pay Customer N25m Damages

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A Lagos high court has ordered Skye Bank Plc to pay one of its customers, Mr. Yemi Adesanya, who is the Managing Director of a limited liability company, Renbury Nigeria, the sum of N25 million over an alleged breach of contract.

The events leading to the judgement of the court started sometime in 2001 when Renbury Company applied to Prudent Bank Plc (now among the bank that formed Skye Bank) for a loan of N5 million. The loan was secured by a third party with two developed properties belonging to Mr. Adesanya.

The properties situated at 4, Ajegunle Street, Sango-Ota Ogun state and House 5 B, Close F, LSDPC Housing Estate, Ogudu GRA, Lagos State.

However, when the loan and the interest were liquidated, Skye Bank Plc refused to release the title deeds of the property situated at Sango Ota, claiming that Mr. Adesanya had used it to access another loan for Iwara Integrated Service Limited.

As a result of the seizure of his certificate of occupancy, Mr. Adesanya alleged that he suffered financially, as he was unable to access loans from other banks.

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Consequently, Mr. Adesanya and his company urged the court to order Skye Bank Plc to pay them N1.2 million being excessive interest on the said loan and N20 million as general damages and N80 million being general and special damages as a result of the refusal of the bank to release the said title documents.

At the trial of the case, Mr. Adesanya testified for himself and called four witnesses to prove his case, while a senior manager of the bank testified for the bank.

In her judgement, Justice Bola Okikiolu-Ighile, held that from the totality of evidence before her there was no conclusive evidence that any fund was made available to Iwara Integrated Services Limited by the bank nor was the company registered with Corporate Affairs Commission.

In addition, Justice Okikiolu- Ighile said Skye bank did not only breach a contract agreement it voluntarily entered into, but the bank was not fair in its dealing with its customer. Consequently, the court ordered the bank to pay the claimant N1.2 million being over charged interest on the loan, N15 million as special damages and N10 million as general damages.