Alleged dud cheque: Customer seeks N25m from Fidelity Bank

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One of Fidelity Bank Branches
One of Fidelity Bank Branches

Former President, Nigerian Institute of Management(NIM) Abayomi Ojikutu has asked the Federal High Court,Lagos to compel Fidelity Bank to pay him N25 million for dishonouring the bank’s manager’s cheque that was returned unpaid.

While Ojikutu contended that he has enough fund in his Kofo Abayomi Street,Victoria Island Lagos branch to fund the transaction, the bank on the other hand admitted returning the cheque unpaid due to ‘human error’.

However, not satisfied with the bank’s explanation,Ojikutu asked the court and the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to pay him N25 million for ‘negligently and maliciously dishonouring the bank’s manager’s cheque of N1,200,000 to a third party’.

The former NIM boss, now a management consultant added that he drew with cheque number 5036363 for N1,200,000 in favour of his landlady, Esther Olubukola Balogun on May 16,2013.

He stressed that when the manager’s cheque was presented by Balogun through her bank- Guaranty Trust Bank, the cheque was returned unpaid, an action he said made him to be regarded as a ‘person not credible to be dealing with cheques’.

Upon a protest to the bank, Okechukwu Eke and Kingsley Ohiri both of Fidelity Bank’s Legal Services Division, in a letter dated July 15,2013 to Ojikutu’s lawyer, Ladipo Fasade apologised, adding that, ‘the return of the cheque was an unfortunate human error in the processing of the instrument.

Both Eke and Ohiri in the letter concluded that, ‘Notwithstanding that your client has since cancelled and reissued the cheque to the same beneficiary,we have also written to the beneficiary to explain that the error leading to the return of the cheque was entirely ours.’

However, in spite of the admission of the error by the bank, Ojikutu still insists that the court should compel Fidelity Bank and CBN which is the supervisory institution to pay him N25 million.

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