- In what can be described as an eye-opener, a Nigerian woman has won a legal case against Polaris Bank over a failed transaction
- She had approached the court seeking compensation after the bank failed to reverse her funds despite several visits
- The Central Bank of Nigeria directs that every failed transaction must be reversed within 72 hours of working days
Polaris Bank will have to pay N500,000 in damages to one of its customers, Mrs. Idongesit Nwoko, for failing to reverse a failed Point of Sales (POS) transaction within the 72-hour time frame required by law.
Justice Bennett Ilaumo of the State High Court in Akwa Ibom State gave the directive on Wednesday, 4th May 2022.
During the court hearing, Nwoko stated that she made a N61,000 POS withdrawal on December 24, 2021, but was debited without payment.
Premium Times reports that Nwoko who is a civil servant claimed she made several efforts, including numerous visits to the bank, but the debit was not reversed until after 28 days.
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Dissatisfied with the way she was treated by the bank, the woman, through her lawyer, Utibe Nwoko, sued Polaris Bank asking for her money, another report revealed.
Justice Ilaumo in his ruling ordered the bank to pay N500,000 in damages as the bank was negligent of its duty to care for its customer.
Polaris bank to appeal
Despite winning the lawsuit, Nwoko's road ahead will be bumpy, as Polaris has announced preparations to appeal the ruling.
Mr Ebuk contended that the plaintiff, in her prayers, sought the court to compel the restoration of her money, damages for her money that "was lost," and the expense of legal action, despite the fact that the court cannot change a party's pleadings in a suit.
He stated that the plaintiff did not request compensation for the delayed reversal that the court granted her.
He is quoted as saying:
“The judgment was not the true position of the law. It wasn’t the terms of agreement. There was no hearing in that matter. Everything was totally against the rule of practice and the law.
“The plaintiff tried to withdraw money with a Polaris Bank Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card, but she did not go to Polaris Bank. She went to another bank’s POS. Going to another bank POS, that bank debited her account from Polaris bank but did not pay her.
“The law is if you come to Polaris Bank with its bank card it should be reversed immediately or within 24 hours, but when it has to do with a third party bank, you have to file an application before the money is reversed to the owner.
“The law allows for 16 days for the money to be reversed from the day the application was filed.
“The woman was debited on December 24, 2021 but she did not notify the bank until after the Christmas holidays about January 4, 2022. From the day she notified the bank we covered the period and returned her money within the 16 days in line with the law.”
Ecobank leads as 10 commercial banks spend over N400bn on staff salaries
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that working in the banking industry is a dream for many Nigerian graduates because they believe there is a lot of money to be made
The report showed how ten commercial banks paid workers salaries and wages of over N400 billion in 2021.
The amount captured in the report only covers salaries and wages and does not include other staff costs, and pension contribution that makes up personnel cost.