NEFGAD drags Netflix, old generation bank to court over abuse of OTP, customer's account details


Mr. Akingunola Omoniyi

By Taiwo Okanlawon

In a significant legal battle, Mr. Akingunola Omoniyi, Country’s Head of Office, Network for the Actualization of Social Growth and Viable Development (NEFGAD), has taken Netflix Nigeria Limited and United Bank for Africa PLC (UBA) to the High Court of Nigeria, Ondo State Division, alleging abuse of One-Time Passwords (OTPs) and unauthorized access to his bank account.

The case, filed under suit number HOD/124/2021, centres around accusations that Netflix and UBA colluded to repeatedly withdraw funds from Mr. Akingunola’s account without his consent.

“I never authorized Netflix as a co-signatory to my UBA account and did not agree to recurring transactions beyond an initial one-month subscription period.” Mr Akinguola claimed.

He asserted that he provided his ATM details to Netflix for a single transaction to cover a subscription from May 21, 2021, to June 21, 2021. However, Netflix allegedly continued to draw money from his account monthly, with the apparent facilitation of UBA. According to him, this unauthorized access led to numerous debits against his account, which were executed without his knowledge or approval.

Mr Akingunola has raised serious concerns about the breach of fiduciary duty by UBA, stating that the bank failed to seek his consent for ongoing transactions. He emphasized that UBA did not have the authority to expose his account to Netflix or any third party beyond the specified one-month subscription, saying the oversight represents a significant breach of duty and negligence on the part of UBA.

He said ” Netflix and UBA acted in collusion to defraud me by facilitating continuous unauthorized debits from my account. After I had provided my banking details for the initial subscription period, Netflix and UBA conspired to keep drawing funds arbitrarily and fraudulently, and it persisted without any prior notice to or approval from me.

Related News

He argued further that as its name implies ‘’One Time Password (OTP) is a time bound-unique password that can only serve a single transaction’ hence, should not be fraudulently used to open customer’s account unrestricted for unauthorized deductions under any guise’’.

“That Netflix could use my ATM details beyond the agreed one-month subscription period was fraudulent and has violated our initial agreement. Despite several complaints, these unauthorized debits continued, prompting me to seek legal redress.”

Mr. Akingunola’s legal team has demanded that the court hold Netflix and UBA accountable for the unauthorized transactions and the subsequent financial loss. They argue that the bank, as the keeper of Mr Akingunola’s funds, had a duty to notify him and confirm each transaction before processing, which was not adhered to.

Mr. Akingunola underscored that the collusion between Netflix and UBA to continuously withdraw money from his account without consent constitutes fraud, dishonesty, and a breach of trust. He insisted that UBA’s failure to notify him of each transaction and seek his explicit consent for recurrent payments is central to the lawsuit.

He said despite a series of court services to Netflix, the organisation has failed to send even a representation or appear in court since the commencement of the case, saying it underscored the organisation’s disregard for the law of the country and weakness in the government’s enforcement of customers right and responsibilities of service providers in managing customer’s details.

“It is important that the government look into issues concerning the security and misuse of customer banking details and OTPs by digital service providers and banks in the country. They need to set a significant precedent for customer rights and the responsibilities of financial institutions in safeguarding account information.” Mr Akingunola concluded.

The case has been adjourned to the 15th of July, 2024.

Load more