“Is there a legal adviser in Zenith Bank?”, asked learned Nigerians who are privy to this act of legal rascality displayed by Jim Ovia led Zenith Bank, in this report filed in.
As the sun beat down thousands of persons who go about their daily living in Asaba on 7th January 2021, Mr. Agboje Shedrack never knew that the bank he trusted will betray him even before the cock crow.
On the said date, he went to a nearby bank to use his debit card to make a withdrawal from the ATM but was unable to make withdrawals which prompted him to go to the branch located along Nnebisi Road, where he was asked to call the customer care line at the Headquarters in Lagos with phone number 08039003700, as he was told that they were acting under strict directives and instructions of the Nigerian Police Force.
Shedrack we gathered made moves to know why Zenith Bank placed his account on Post No Debit on Police instructions and realized that the bank did so without a petition against him but simply on oral instruction from the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Zaria Area Command, Zaria, Kaduna State.
Investigations revealed that contrary to legal procedures of furnishing a bank with a court order before any account is placed on PND, Zenith Bank didn’t ask for any order from the court but went ahead to do so.
In the Court of Appeal, Lagos Judicial Division in Guaranty Trust Bank V. Mr. Akinsiku Adedamola – CA/L/1285/15 per Hon. Justice Tijani Abubakar, the trial Judge held that “even if the applicant was alleged to have committed a criminal offence, the EFCC cannot, on its own, direct the bank to place a restriction on his accounts in the bank without an order of the court, even with an ex parte application to obtain an order freezing the account of any suspect that has lodgments suspected to be proceeds of crime. No law imposes a unilateral power on the EFCC to deal with the applicant this was.” The Court of Appeal went ahead to state that the bank does not have any obligation to comply with the directives of the EFCC where such directive was not made pursuant to a court order.
In breaking this oath of secrecy and confidentiality, Zenith Bank without recourse to the rule of law towed the path of dishonor and illegality.