HRM Tejuosho resumes legal tussle with Access bank over N150m judgement

The legal battle between His Royal Majesty, Oba Adedapo Tejuosho, and Access bank over a N150million judgment has resumed.

Aftermath of the JUSUN strike, Access bank awaits Appeal court to fix a date for the hearing of an appeal filed against N100million judgment awarded in favour of His Royal Majesty Oba (DR) Adedapo Adewale Tejuosho and against Access bank by a Federal high court in Lagos.

The judgment sum of N100 million plus N50,000 cost was awarded against Access bank for negligence. Dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower court, the bank filed an appeal before the appellate court in order to overturn the judgment.

HRM Oba Adedapo Adewale Tejuosho instructed his solicitors Messers A.O Agboola and Ola Agbaje to institute the legal action against Access bank, AMCON, and Intercontinental Securities Ltd before a Federal high court in Lagos, demanding aggravated damages in the sum of N500 million from Access bank and Intercontinental Securities Limited for their negligence.

His Royal Majesty while being led in evidence by Barrister A.O Agboola stated that Access bank approached him to apply for a margin loan to buy shares in blue-chip companies, the total loan eventually advanced by Access bank to him was N276,613,297.90.

The collateral for the loan was the shares purchased with the loan and the bank foisted on him Intercontinental Securities Limited who is the third defendant in this suit as the broker to the transaction. Oba Tejuoso stated further that he entrusted the management and control of the shares purchased with the loan to Access bank and Intercontinental Securities and expressly instructed them to sell the shares in the event that their value dropped below 130% of the loan facility obtained from Access bank.

The shares purchased with the loan eventually lost value far below the instructed 130% and yet the bank and the broker failed and neglected to sell the shares.

As a consequence of the failure to sell the shares, which are still in the custody of the defendants, the loan taken by the plaintiff was said to be still outstanding and AMCON demanded the repayment of the loan from the plaintiff.

The Paramount ruler instituted this suit, not to deny taking a loan but, inter alia, to seek an account from Access bank and the broker of how the loan was utilized and damages for injury caused to him by the failure to carry out his express written instruction. It was also his contention that he is not personally liable, as the parties had agreed that the sole repayment source for the loan was the shares bought with the loan. Consequently, if the bank and the stockbroker had carried out his full instruction, the loan would have been fully paid off and it would have been Access bank and the broker that would be owing him.

The plaintiff tendered 23 exhibits in support of his case
However, the summary of Access bank’s case was that it advanced loan facilities to the plaintiff to acquire shares of companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and in turn, received shares owned directly and indirectly by the plaintiff prior to the grant of the facility as security to cover the facility, consequently Access bank stated that the bank is still indebted to it based on non-repayment by the plaintiff following the drawdown on the facility and particularly after the due date for repayment had passed.

The bank also stated that it did not have the duty to manage the shares acquired by virtue of the facility advanced to the plaintiff and as such the plaintiff is not entitled to the reliefs.
Access bank called one witness and tendered 9 Exhibit
AMCON who was sued as the second defendant in the suit stated in its evidence that it was not in any way involved in the negotiation, grant, and management of the facility until it acquires the facility as an Eligible Asset.

In the judgment of the Federal high court delivered on the 2nd day of October 2018 by the then presiding judge, justice C.M.A.Olatoregun (now retired), the judge said “I believe that Access bank and Intercontinental Securities Ltd were negligent in not making the decision to sell when it was attractive and prudent to do so.

A bank has a duty to exercise reasonable care, diligence, and skill in carrying out the mandate of its customer. These duties extend over a whole range of banking business within banker/customer relationships.
I am satisfied that in the circumstances of this case the plaintiff is owed that duty of care and in this case, they were not prudent. They were very negligent about the plaintiff’s affairs.
Aggravated damages are meant to punish wrongdoers for egregious behavior and to deter others from acting in a similar manner. No occasion is more deserving !!!
I am satisfied that an act of extreme negligence committed by Access bank and Intercontinental Securities Ltd calls for the award of aggravated damages. The same is awarded in the sum of N100million. Cost in the sum of N50 thousand is awarded in favour of the plaintiff.

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